Driven by market demand, Laser-Scan, Autodesk, Intergraph and MapInfo, all members of the OpenGIS Consortium (OGC), have come together to promote a new initiative to achieve improved interoperability between their GIS products. For the first time customers will be able to "mix and match" tools and technologies from the four vendors while benefiting from access to seamless data via Oracle Spatial, the market leading relational database.

This initiative supports organizations where separate departments require a range of GIS applications. In addition, more and more businesses require their systems and applications to be interoperable in order to reduce costs and facilitate smarter working. To this end, Laser-Scan, Autodesk, Intergraph and MapInfo have joined together to develop free Interoperability Kits. Specifically, these kits address the consistent handling of auxiliary information for text and point data, such as orientation.

Duncan Guthrie, Laser-Scan's Sales and Marketing Director commented, "We are fully behind this initiative. It extends the value of interoperability being exploited by some of our existing customers and will allow more organisations to reach their goal of a truly interoperable solution. Laser-Scan is committed to delivering products that conform to OGC specifications. We urge all vendors within the GIS community to support this inititaive so that users of many different GIS software packages are able to benefit from truly interoperable products."

Laser Scan's immediate solution is facilitated by the use of Oracle Database, with Laser-Scan's Radius Topology product enabling the application of server-side rules to ensure consistent, unbreakable, accurate data. Laser-Scan's Radius Topology is an advanced spatial processing environment, which extends Oracle Locator or Oracle Spatial and provides dramatic improvements to the speed and consistency of spatial data handling. Radius Topology is truly interoperable; whether solutions rely on Autodesk, Intergraph or MapInfo GIS, Radius Topology adds the benefits of advanced data intelligence.

In conjunction with Autodesk, Intergraph and MapInfo, Laser-Scan has produced a white paper to show how interoperability works in practice around an Oracle Database installation. Interested parties can download a copy of this white paper together with Laser-Scan's Interoperability Kit from the Laser-Scan website

The Oracle Database with Spatial option, the only platform that provides data interoperability across all applications, is an essential component in the delivery of interoperable GIS solutions from Laser-Scan, Autodesk, Intergraph and MapInfo.

"We are excited to see Laser-Scan and this group of OGC members engaged in this unified approach to interoperability processes using Oracle ," said Steve Hagan, vice president, Server Technologies at Oracle. "Oracle Spatial is used around the globe in thousands of enterprise and national GIS, digital mapping and wireless location based services applications that are shared by and accessed through every major spatial and GIS partner technology. We believe that this initiative is an important milestone in the continuing evolution of open standards and will support continued development of this initiative within the OGC consensus process."

David Schell, President of OGC said, "I applaud the efforts of this group of OGC Principal Members. They have learned to work together in the spirit of cooperative development, which is the essence of the standards process. Such collaborative activities build the market and hold the potential for introducing valuable new specifications into the consortium's consensus process. We encourage the group to continue its collaborative efforts through a formal working group of the consortium's and look forward to their developing the broad member participation needed to create a useful standard. "

Laser-Scan, Autodesk, Intergraph and MapInfo are committed to submitting the results of this effort into the standards setting programs of the Open GIS Consortium (OGC)

Live demonstrations of interoperability between Autodesk, Intergraph, Laser-Scan and MapInfo will be available on each vendor's website shortly and will be on show at Intergeo Exhibition and Congress, Hamburg, Germany. 17-19 September 2003. Laser-Scan - stand 09D07 (09 EG)
Autodesk - stand 09U24 (09 OG)
Intergraph - stand 12D44 (12 EG)
MapInfo - stand 11D20 (11 EG)

Source: Laser-Scan, Sept. 17, 2003