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OGC Issues Request for Technology for Web Services

May 1, 2003
The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) invites responses to a Request for Technology (RFT) in support of an OGC Interoperability Initiative called the "OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 2." Responses are due by May 30, 2003. The RFT document is available for download at http://ip.opengis.org/ows2/documents.htm .

The purpose of this Request For Technology (RFT) is to solicit industry input regarding technology areas being considered in the planning of one or more open, industry testbeds to study the effectiveness and limitations of architectures for interoperable Spatial Web Services. Responses to this RFT should consider the work performed in the OGC Web Services Initiative Phase 1 and the specifications developed during the course of that initiative. Proposals should point out where OGC's existing Accepted Technology or specifications under consideration address the needs mentioned in the RFT.

This OGC Web Services Initiative RFT elaborates on eight themes. Work in each area will build upon the results of the previous OGC testbeds and pilot projects as well as on the work of the OGC Technical Committee and that of other standards organizations. The themes are:

  • Common Architecture
  • Multi-Source Information Operations
  • Image Handling
  • Sensor Web Enablement
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Decision Support
  • g-Commerce (e-Commerce for geospatial information)
  • OpenLS (Open Location Services)

OWS-2 will add significantly to OGC's set of geospatial Web services. For example, the new Decision Support theme will build on the existing OGC Web Services in the following areas:

  • Extending OWS Portrayal Services (such as WMS) for collaboration.
  • Defining methods for decision analysts to organize, store and share geo-analysis projects.
  • Extending decision support tool access to predictions from models as well as sensor observations.

OWS-2 will also consolidate OGC Web Services. Most significantly, the combining of OpenLS with OWS in OWS-2 represents an important bridging of capabilities that will benefit multiple application domains. OWS-2 aims to demonstrate geospatial interoperability across a variety of network, node and client hardware configurations.

OGC Web Services will provide a vendor-neutral, evolutionary, interoperable standards framework for web-based discovery, access, integration, analysis, exploitation and visualization of multiple online geodata sources, sensor-derived information, location services and geoprocessing capabilities. OGC Web Services will allow distributed geoprocessing systems to communicate with each other using technologies such as XML and HTTP. This means that systems capable of working with XML and HTTP will be able to both advertise and use OGC Web Services.

Using these systems, complex tasks will be accomplished on inexpensive PCs and network-enabled devices. Distributed geoprocessing enabled by OGC Web Services will make it possible to establish "g-commerce" architectures that dynamically connect collaborating communities of information providers, maintainers, brokers, and users to accomplish complex geoprocessing and information exploitation tasks, sharing georeferenced information resources among multiple network-accessible devices. Internet and web-based technologies will provide the common network protocols for these systems.

Responses to the RFT are due no later than 5 pm EDT (2100 UTC) May 30, 2003. An OWS testbed Initiative, based on the results of this RFT, is expected to begin in September 2003.

The OWS Phase 2 RFT is part of 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 OGC Interoperability Program should be addressed to Mr. Ron Fresne, Interoperability Initiatives Manager, rfresne@opengis.org, +1 (703) 707-0261. If you would like more information on becoming a Sponsor of OWS-2, please contact Mr. Jeff Harrison, OGC Executive Director, Business Development, jharrison@opengis.org, +1 (703) 628-8655.