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2019 OGC Gardels Award for Linda van den Brink

Linda van den Brink received the 2019 edition of OGC’s prestigious Kenneth D. Gardels Award.

The Gardels Award is presented each year. It’s for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the vision of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Included in that vision is using location to connect people, communities, technology, and decision making for the greater good. The OGC is an international consortium of more than 530 businesses, government agencies, research organizations and universities driven. Moving forward, it wants to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

Technical Committee

The Board of Directors of the OGC presented the prize on November 20, 2019. It’s a gold medal. The ceremony took place during the meeting of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee in Toulouse, France. That is why Bart De Lathouwer, president of the OGC, handed over The Award in the city hall of Toulouse. Also present was Jean-Luc Moudenc, mayor Toulouse, and Steven Hagan on behalf of the Board of Directors of the OGC.

Bart De Lathouwer, president of the OGC, handed over The Gandels Award to Linda van den Brink.

OGC and other bodies

Linda van den Brink received the award because of her effective coordination between the OGC, other standards and industry bodies. As noted by one of the nominating committee: “Linda has been an outstanding representative both internal to OGC and external. She has worked hard to gain OGC standards acceptance in the wider community.” Above this, another committee member commented: “Linda’s value to OGC is reflected simply because of the number of areas in which she has participated. Over the years, Linda has been involved in CityGML, GeoSemantics, Linked Data, and the joint working group with W3C. In these groups, Linda has not only been involved, but also taken a very active part in each…”. As an advisor on standardisation within Geonovum in the Netherlands, she is, among many other things, involved in information models for the Dutch geospatial data infrastucture (most notably that on ‘noise’), key registries and e-government.

The meeting of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee in the city hall of Toulouse, France.

Advancing semantic and linked data interoperability

Apart from co-chairing the GeoSemantics Domain Working Group, Van den Brink has been active in GML and CityGML Standards Working Groups. Also, according to an OGC press release, she often identified issues based on experience gained through standards implementations. Besides that, she has been the primary voice in highlighting the need to better align common elements. This included the CityGML, InfraGML, and IndoorGML standards. Bart De Lathouwer, President of OGC, commented: “I’m very happy that Linda van den Brink has received the 2019 Gardels Award. With her down-to-earth approach, she has been instrumental in significantly advancing semantic and linked data interoperability in the geospatial domain, together with our alliance partner W3C. Linda’s real-world based interoperability activities, and strong international community building skills, are appreciated not only by OGC, but also many outside of OGC. Kenn (Gandels, ed.) would be very proud.”

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True spirit of OGC

Jeffrey K. Harris, Chairman of the OGC Board of Directors, addressed his words directly to Linda van den Brink when he said: “We thank you for demonstrating the true spirit of the OGC in striving for what is best for the geospatial community. You have served countless hours in OGC activities, including leading, attending, and actively participating in Technical Committee Meetings and serving as a Technical Committee (TC) representative to the Planning Committee (PC), where you are charged to summarize PC discussions that impact the TC from the member perspective.” The OGC press release mentioned above mentions one of the other reasons for Van den Brink deserving this award. “In all this work, Linda has exemplified the principles, courage, humility, and accomplishment in promoting spatial technologies to address the needs of humanity that characterized Kenn Gardels’ career and life”.