GML Estafette demonstrates interoperability of GeoMedia technology.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions demonstrated the interoperability of GeoMedia technology by successfully participating in the recent Geography Markup Language (GML) Estafette sponsored by the Kring van Aardobservatie en GeoInformatie (Dutch Society of Earth Observation and GeoInformatics) and the technical university, TU Delft. The objective of the relay was to corroborate the Open GIS concept, emphasizing the easy, open exchange of spatial data using OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) standards such as GML. Geography Markup Language, an XML encoding for spatial data and related attributes, allows users to easily publish and/or exchange spatial data in an open, industry-standard transport encoding on the Web. The estafette was held in Emmen at the office of long-time Intergraph customer Topografische Dienst (Topographical Services Netherlands).

Carl Reed, executive director of the OGC Specification Program, explains the benefits of the relay. "Interoperability demonstrations such as the GML relay are critical to the long-term acceptance and implementation of standards and specifications that allow interoperable applications and services to be built and deployed. Having Intergraph and other relay participants step up to the plate to prove that interoperability works is of major benefit to the geospatial industry. Such benefits, in terms of industry growth, include deployment of new applications that may not have been possible in the past and increased competition."

Six industry leaders tested the ability to interoperate via GML using real-world spatial data. The relay called for vendors to utilize their respective geospatial solutions to import, display, mutate, and export data using a common GML model. The data, encoded as a GML model, was then passed on to the next vendor. Designed by TU Delft, the model used the GML 2.1 specification and was based on topographical vector data from Topografische Dienst, which produces among other products, TOP10NL vector data, covering the entire country of the Netherlands on a 1:10000 scale.

Intergraph's GeoMedia technology, the first software to manipulate and export the model, completed the operations successfully. Bart Hoogenraad, vice president of global marketing, Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, comments, "At Intergraph, we are strongly committed to the advancement of open data access and sharing. With this success, we have shown the reliability of GML and GeoMedia technology for organizations who require ready access to varied types of geographical data from disparate sources."

The standards-based architecture of Intergraph's industry-proven geospatial solutions seamlessly integrates disparate formats such as XML and GML. GeoMedia products immediately expand customer reach and interoperability capabilities by providing access to OGC-compliant data sources on the Web, no matter where users of the data reside.

Advancing interoperability for local and global use As an OGC founding and strategic level member, Intergraph has continually collaborated with the OGC to advance GML over the last few years. In the last quarter of 2002, Intergraph launched the international Intergraph Open Interoperability Grant Program to promote the use of OGC interoperability specifications. Through the program, Intergraph will award 100 organizations with a suite of geospatial software that will allow them to publish disparate data from multiple sources in open, industry-standard formats to the Web.