The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC), presented Edric Keighan, Peter Vretanos and Bill Lalonde, all of Canadian software developer CubeWerx, with the fifth annual Kenneth G. Gardels Award. The Gardels Award, a gold medallion, is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to advance the vision of the OGC. Edric Keighan, CubeWerx President and CEO, provided key leadership that allowed the OGC to open up the Web for spatial processing. His vision helped clarify the technical needs as well as the cooperation that would be necessary to make interoperable Spatial Web services a reality. He showed his belief in OGC’s mission by regularly committing his small company’s resources during the second Web Mapping Testbed and OGC Web Services Initiatives. Senior Developer Peter Vretanos’ technical leadership and insight into consensus building helped several specifications reach approved status. Several other drafts specifications currently in the OGC pipeline also received his attention. Vretanos edited the draft OpenGIS Web Object Service Implementation Specification, the Web Feature Service Implementation Specification, and the Filter Encoding Implementation Specification. As CubeWerx’s Director of Product Development Bill Lalonde had a major role in the development of the Cascading Map Server, a technology that has been essential to the worldwide success of Web mapping based on OpenGIS Specifications. In addition, Bill was the editor of the OpenGIS Styled Layer Descriptor Specification and the driving force in multiple Interoperability Initiatives, always as a team player.
A team of engineers that had worked together for 12 years developing Oracle’s Spatial Data Option founded CubeWerx in1996. Based in Hull, Quebec, the company joined OGC in April 1999 and was immediately active, providing important contributions to Web mapping that continue today. The Gardels award is presented annually in memory of Kenneth Gardels, one of the founding directors of OGC and OGC’s director of academic programs. Mr. Gardels coined the term “Open GIS,” and devoted his life to the humane and democratic uses of GIS. He passed away in 1999.
OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.