The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) has released the proposed OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS) Implementation Specification for public comment as a Request for Comment (RFC). The RFC defines XML for Location Services, which consists of interfaces for a variety of specific services. Also included in the RFC is a separate document detailing the interface for the Navigation Service Extension. The documentation is available at and comments are invited from any interested parties for 30 days, until May 19, 2003.

The proposed OpenLS specification is the product of the OpenLS 1 testbed initiatives held between October 2001 and October 2002. The initiatives aimed to define and build the "core" location application services and information framework necessary for interoperable use of mobile devices, services and location-related data.

The proposed OpenLS specification includes details of several interfaces including those for a Directory Service (a Yellow Pages used to "find the nearest" or a specific product or service), Gateway Service (fetches the position of a mobile device from the network), Geocoder Service (converts a location, such as a street address to a point with latitude/longitude), Presentation (Map Portrayal) Service (draws a map), Reverse Geocoder Service (transforms a given position into a description of a feature location, such as a street address), and a Route Service (creates a travel route). The Navigation Service Extension, an enhanced version of the Route Service is part of the RFC, but contained in a separate document. This complex service was separated from the core since it may not be needed for all implementations.

The OpenLS specification submission team includes Autodesk (USA), ESRI (USA), Image Matters (USA), Intergraph IntelliWhere (Australia), MapInfo (USA) and Webraska (France).