The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) announced that BAE SYSTEMS has renewed its Strategic Membership in OGC. Strategic Membership is the highest level of membership in OGC.

BAE SYSTEMS joined OGC in 1995 and has been a Strategic Member of the Consortium since 2001. As a premier integrator for the geoprocessing and imagery communities and as a Strategic Member in OGC, BAE SYSTEMS plays a leading role in the development, understanding and implementation of OGC's OpenGIS Specifications for interoperability interfaces.

BAE SYSTEMS' continuing commitment to OGC reflects the company's understanding of their diverse clients' needs for interoperable geoprocessing. BAE SYSTEMS is able to help organizations and communities of organizations address increasingly complex problems that involve sharing spatial data and processing resources. Decision support for critical infrastructure protection, for example, may require some users to remotely access multiple sophisticated image processing servers while other users rely on real-time updates to simple maps on their Web-connected PDAs. These flows of data and instructions typically cross the boundaries of multiple proprietary software platforms, so interoperability interfaces are essential.

Jerry Atkison of BAE SYSTEMS Integrated Systems division said, "We continue to support the mission and objectives of OGC as a Strategic Member because of the impact the organization is having as a catalyst for interoperability within the GIS community. The OGC member companies have a strong history of aligning with commercial, national and international priorities and BAE SYSTEMS, as a large systems integrator, takes pride in our involvement with OGC. The recent focus on the need for GIS data interoperability across federal and local agencies is expected to pay large dividends in support of homeland security and international cooperation."

Under the terms of BAE SYSTEMS' Strategic Membership the company's Information Systems Sector provides, on loan to OGC, a senior technical program manager. Terry Idol serves full-time on OGC Staff as Deputy Director, Interoperability Program. His work focuses on the OGC Web Services (OWS) initiatives that are driving the future architecture of imagery and geospatial systems for government and industry.

Mr. Arliss Whiteside, also a BAE SYSTEMS employee, continues to play an active role as the company's Technical Committee representative to OGC. Arliss was presented OGC's 2001 Gardels Award for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions in developing critical elements of OGC's OpenGIS Specification program.

David Shell, President of OGC, said, "We are very fortunate to have BAE SYSTEMS providing this particular kind of support, dedicating a key contributor to oversee specific Interoperability Initiatives. The whole market is well served by their active approach to developing the open environment for geoprocessing. Besides their initiative support and specification development, they bring a complete set of requirements into OGC's process, and they also help pioneer the 'interface administration' role that replaces some of the functions that integrators served in the pre-interoperability era."