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OGC demonstrates the future of interoperable web services

Sponsors, participants and invited guests joined the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) at Lockheed Martin to view the results of the OGC Web Services 1.2 Testbed initiative. The demonstration focused on three emergency response situations in a mock Department of Homeland Security Emergency Operations Center, showing how recent advances in OGC’s interoperability architecture enable integration of geospatial information and geoprocessing software via the World Wide Web. Attendees saw the use of live sensors, the tasking of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the integration of data, services, and other elements hosted on servers worldwide. While the demonstration employed a variety of innovative software products and geospatial data drawn from local, state and federal agencies and the private sector, OGC Interoperability Program Executive Director Jeff Harrison made it clear at the outset that what was important was that all of the technology worked together through OGC interfaces. After the formal presentation, attendees visited with participants at an electronic poster session to learn more about their contributions.

Some of the work in OWS 1.2 focused on enhancing existing OpenGIS Specifications such as Geography Markup Language and Web Feature Service while others defined new interfaces that may someday become specifications, including such technologies as image handling, Web-based sensor planning and collection, service registries, symbol/style management, and composite services (linking or chaining one service to another).

The UAV scenario illustrated mobile targeting – using an aerial sensor to capture images over an area – and allowed analysts to examine them to determine if a specific vehicle entered the area of interest. Behind the scenes a series of services executing together, a composite service, made this possible. Draft interfaces for a variety of services, including a Sensor Planning Service, Web Notification Service, Sensor Collection Service, Sensor Markup Language (SensorML), Image Archive Service, Web Coverage Service, and
Coverage Portrayal Service each played a part in the procedure. These services, all linked together, demonstrated a method to gather imagery in a rapid fashion, potentially within minutes, and provide it for analysis.