OpenGIS: Tales from a Small Market Town
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The OpenGIS Consortium, OGC, has over one hundred and fifty members drawn from both the user and vendor communities and seeks to develop specifications for providing interoperability for geospatial data access and geoprocessing. This paper unashamedly adopts a biased perspective, that of a vendor active in the OGC. It attempts to explain the importance of the OGC in raising issues that go far beyond the writing of specifications.
Unlike many of the papers included here, the subject of this paper does not readily submit to a rigorous academic analysis. Issues are argued by example rather than by proof. To many vendors, the worth of the OGC lies in its recognition of key commercial realities. Since the OGC does concern itself with implementation and because it is trying to use the best of emerging technologies but is not tied to one particular platform, it faces many of the same problems that a vendor encounters. It is familiar with the compromise and pragmatism required to make progress. Consequently it provides one of the few forums where these issues are discussed.
This paper gives time to underlying issues that, although raised in the commercial world, impinge directly on technical developments. Many of these issues remain current and deserve a wider audience. They represent tales of the OpenGIS process, both past and present, told by a vendor located in a small market town.
KeywordsGeospatial Data Object Management Group Internet Engineer Task Force Common Object Request Broker Architecture Thin Client
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