Open GIS Consortium Focuses on Interoperability
With so muchand such disparategeo-spatial and location information available, standards are key to the interoperability and wider use of geographic information systems technology.
The Open GIS Consortium, an international standards body comprising 258 companies, government agencies and universities, aims to address these connectivity issues.
Founded in 1994, the Open GIS Consortium has a membership that includes organizations such as Mitre Corp., the United Nations and Harvard University. The city and county of San Francisco, which became a member last year, was one of the first to join as a local government associate member.
Historically built as stand-alone applications, GIS services werent made to easily communicate with other applications and systems. The standards developed by the Open GIS Consortium, called OpenGIS Specifications, support interoperability with open interfaces and protocols.
As with many standards bodies, the Open GIS Consortium has been working with Web services and XML. In February, the organization released an approved GML (Geography Markup Language) Version 3.0 implementation specification. GMLan XML grammar written in XML Schema for the modeling, transport and storage of geographic informationprovides a variety of object types for describing geography. In April, the Open GIS Consortium issued a public call for comment on the proposed OpenLS (OpenGIS Location Services) implementation specification, which defines XML for location services.
The Open GIS Consortium has six guidelines for how geospatial information should be made available across any network, application or platform:
More information on the Open GIS Consortium can be found at www.opengis.org.