Policies & Standards

Policies & Standards

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As in the last few years, year 2001 too saw several initiatives on standardisation. OGC released Grid Coverages Implementation Specification, FGDC sought comments on Remote Sensing Metadata Extensions, GSDI brings out Spatial Data Infrastructure Guide and US DoD released GPS standards.

Open Standard for Geographic Image Processing Made Public
Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) released the OpenGIS Grid Coverages Implementation Specification to the public. The term “Grid Coverages” refers to satellite images, digital aerial photos, digital elevation data, and other phenomena represented by values at each post in a “raster” coordinate system (as opposed to “vector” geodata, in which digital map information is represented using polygons and lines). The specification describes an open interface that provides communication between software systems for purposes of requesting, viewing, and performing certain kinds of grid coverage analysis such as histogram calculation, image covariance and other statistical measurements. Interoperability for a wider range of image operations awaits the OpenGIS Image Exploitation Services Specification, which is in progress.

Draft Remote Sensing Metadata Extensions for Public Review
The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has sought comments on the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata: Extensions for Remote Sensing Metadata, which it released for public review. These extensions define content standards for additional metadata needed to describe data obtained from remote sensing. They include metadata describing the sensor, the platform, the method and process of deriving geospatial information from the raw telemetry, and the information needed to determine the geographical location of the remotely sensed data. The FGDC invites software vendors and data users and producers in public and private sectors to comment on Extensions for Remote Sensing Metadata to ensure that the standard meets the needs of their communities.

Spatial Data Infrastructure Imple-mentation Guide.
An implementation guide for Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) was released by the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Secretariat during the GSDI-5 conference in Cartagena, Colombia. Known as the “Cookbook”. This 150-page dynamic document is designed to guide local, regional, national, and multi-national organisations in the common concepts and issues, policies, standards, and recommendations for implementing GIS within compatible geographic information infrastructures.

US DoD Releases Updated Global Positioning System Standard
The Department of Defense released a new GPS performance standard. The new standard is on the web at http: www.navcen.uscg. gov/ gps/geninfo/2001SPS PerforanceStandard FINAL.pdf. The new performance standard codifies a change announced last year to discontinue DoD’s ability to decrease GPS accuracy. The standard also moves some technical specifications to a supporting document, ICD-GPS-200, on the web at http:/ /npoesslib.ipo.noaa.gov/techlib/doc165/ doc165.pdf DoD, as operator of the GPS, now provides civil users a horizontal positioning accuracy of 36 meters, compared to 100-meter accuracy in the previous edition of the standard, which was published in 1995. DoD also promises to notify the civil user community whenever serious or unforeseen problems could affect the new performance level. Future improvements to the system are projected to include new civil codes to correct for ionospheric distortion and to assure continuity of service. The new services will be deployed with satellite launches scheduled between 2003 and 2012, with full operational capability expected in 2014.

The Location Privacy Bill
U.S. Senator John Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, introduced the Location Privacy Protection Act. The bill requires companies that provide wireless location-based services (traffic, entertainment, friend-finders, etc.) to notify users when they collect information about their location. Sale of collected personal information will require the located person’s consent as well. The idea is to protect personal information while not interrupting emergency response.