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OGC Delivers an Open Platform for "Geospatial Portal Operations" 07.07.2003

The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) announces the achievement of a major milestone in geoprocessing and information technology -- the completion of a multi-vendor standards-based geospatial data and services portal, along with a comprehensive portal architecture designed to serve as a community-wide template for advancing geospatial portal capability and capacity worldwide. This open geospatial portal implementation validated OGC's portal architecture as a mechanism for helping technology developers, as well as organizations interested in sharing geospatial data and services, to rapidly extend their existing systems, or to establish new systems capable of efficient integration with growing national, regional and global spatial data infrastructure environments.

Using nothing more than a Web browser, users of the portal can readily publish, discover, access, integrate and apply a wide variety of heterogeneous geospatial data and services, involving both local and remote sources, distributed throughout the Web environment. At a recent demonstration of these innovative portal capabilities for senior government officials and project sponsors, the approach and functionality were applauded as "light years ahead" of anything presently in operation.

The associated "portal architecture", based on a design philosophy compatible with that of the US Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) is well positioned to support future construction of a national infrastructure of interoperable portal capabilities.

Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's Administrator of E-Government and IT, said, "Open standards-based architectures are needed for government to achieve better results from a broad variety of technology and E-Government applications. We look forward to working with OGC in creating open standards based solutions that better serve state and local government and ultimately the citizen. OGC's work in support of the Geospatial One-Stop Initiative shows that we can achieve true interoperability in the near term. We are excited about working with OGC over the coming months to expand on what we have already accomplished."

David Schell, President of OGC, said, "The OGC portal approach is truly a community resource that organizations around the world can use to make their data and geoprocessing services more accessible and reusable. As a result of the industry team's success, I am proud to say that OGC members have voted to make the OGC portal available as a global community resource in the coming weeks, and that we plan an active outreach and uptake program to ensure that it becomes available to a broad spectrum of international users."

The OGC portal and associated architecture are the product of a recent U.S. Government contract to design and validate a comprehensive, multi-vendor geospatial portal and associated architecture. Based on proposals received in response to an OGC Request for Quotation late last year, a broadly-based, team of commercial developers and service providers was selected to participate, including the following OGC member companies: Autodesk, Compusult, CubeWerx, Galdos Systems, Intergraph, Northrop Grumman Information Technology TASC, PCI Geomatics, Oracle, Questerra, SAIC and Sapient Technology.

Jack Pellicci, Brigadier General, US Army (ret); Group Vice President, Business Development, Oracle Government, Education and Health, also an OGC Director, said, "The interoperable architecture that OGC has delivered represents a significant resource that will allow government, citizens, industry and academia to share critical geospatial information and geoprocessing services more efficiently and effectively and will accelerate successful development of vital services associated with both E-Government and Homeland Security."

According to Robert Corell, Sr. Research Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University and Sr. Fellow for Policy at the American Meteorological Society, "By organizing such a cooperative, international approach to virtually automate the implementation of geospatial interoperability in network computing, OGC has in fact invented an effective tool for facilitating and integrating scientific research as well as commercial processes on a global basis. As an OGC Director, I am proud of our member community for solving this basic development problem, and I am very much encouraged when I consider the implications of such information infrastructure capabilities for addressing the immediate natural and geopolitical challenges we face in today's world".

The OGC portal effort was managed within OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program that rapidly delivers proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers and users work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiative's sponsoring organizations.

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