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OGC Members Adopt Implementation Specifications for Location Based Services and Enhanced Web Mapping 07.23.2003

July 23, 2003
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The OpenGIS® Location Service Implementation Specification defines vendor and application neutral interfaces for implementing location service applications that can access directory, route determination, location determination gateway, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and portrayal services.

In June, OGC members voted to adopt the OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS) Implementation Specification, and the OpenGIS Web Map Context Implementation Specification. Once editorial comments are incorporated, the OpenLS Implementation Specification will be publicly released. The Web Map Context Implementation Specification is publicly available and can be found at

The OpenGIS Location Service Implementation Specification defines vendor and application neutral interfaces for implementing location service applications that can access directory, route determination, location determination gateway, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and portrayal services. The interfaces allow telecommunications companies, telematics service providers, traditional GIS technology companies, and location-based services (LBS) providers to efficiently implement interoperable LBS applications that seamlessly access multiple content repositories and service frameworks and that work across the world's many different wireless networks and devices. Sponsors and contributors to these interface specifications are committed to these specifications' harmonization with the pre-existing OpenGIS Specification baseline, including specifications for Web Map Server (WMS), Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD), Web Feature Server (WFS), and Geography Markup Language (GML).

The Web Map Context Documents Specification, a companion specification to the OpenGIS Web Map Service 1.1.1 Implementation Specification, describes how to save a map view comprised of many different layers from many distributed Web map servers. A 'context' can be encoded and saved so that Web maps created by users can be automatically reconstructed and augmented by the user or other users in the future. A context document is structured using eXtensible MarkUp Language (XML) and can be referenced by a simple URL. Potential uses for context documents include: creating default initial views for Web maps in significant demand by user communities, saving the state of a user's work on a viewer client such as how geospatial layers are added or modified, and saving the state of a client session for sharing with other users. Finally, context documents can be cataloged and discovered for reuse by others.

The following organizations submitted the OpenGIS OpenLS Implementation Specification for formal adoption: Autodesk, ESRI, Image Matters, Intergraph IntelliWhere, MapInfo, and Webraska. The submitters acknowledge the following OGC member organizations for their in-kind contributions: Hutchison 3G, IONIC Software sa, Navigation Technologies, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. Web Context Submitters are Cadcorp, DM Solutions Group, Inc., IONIC Software sa, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), GeoConnections - Natural Resources Canada, Social Change Online Pty Ltd, and Syncline. The submitters acknowledge OGC member organizations: Autodesk, Inc., Galdos Systems, Inc., International Interfaces, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), PCI Geomatics, and University of Leeds for their contributions.

Both specifications grew from work performed in 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 work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiative's sponsoring organizations. Questions about the Interoperability Program should be addressed to Mr. Ron Fresne, Director Interoperability Initiatives,, +1 (703) 532-0228; or Mr. Jeff Harrison, Executive Director Program Planning,, +1 (703) 491-9543.

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