ESRI has announced the successful demonstration of ArcIMS software in phase one of the Open Location Services (OpenLS) Testbed Initiative, a program of the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) designed to provide the wireless and Internet communities with a set of open specification standards for implementing interoperable location-based services (LBS) applications. The demonstration was presented to attendees of a recent Emerging Technology Summit on Location-Based Services in Reston, Virginia, October 24–25, 2002. ESRI sponsored and participated in the event and demonstration; other sponsors included Hutchison 3G (UK), In-Q-Tel, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Webraska.
“ESRI is a sponsor and participant in this initiative, and we are excited about the successful demonstration of ArcIMS and its interoperability,” says Kees van Loo, telecommunications industry manager, ESRI. “We are working diligently with other sponsors in the OpenLS initiative to help mobile operators and e911 carriers quickly deploy location-based services with minimal development efforts.” ESRI demonstrated the use of its ArcIMS Web-enabled geographic information system (GIS) software for two applications, Friend Finder and Emergency Response. The demonstration showed the use of OGC-specified LBS services of geocoding, reverse geocoding, directory service, routing, and map presentation of information.
LBS is an industry with tremendous potential for hundreds of wireless consumer applications. Combining GIS tools with easy-to-use mobile devices, LBS provides an array of information wherever and whenever it is needed.
One of the major hurdles in creating open and scalable LBS applications is providing services that can operate seamlessly across the myriad of disparate databases, user devices and telecommunication networks. The goal of the OpenLS Testbed Initiative is to facilitate easy development of mobile applications that work seamlessly across the nation and around the world. These applications can retrieve various data and functionality working across service territories no matter where the user is located.
The next step will involve the OGC Specification Program, where the previously developed candidate specifications from OpenLS will be refined until they are ready for official release as the Adopted OpenGIS Implementation Specifications.