The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) has invited participation in an “Interoperability Experiment” that will result in a proposed XML schema for encoding OGC Web Services Context documents (OWS Context). Cadcorp, DM Solutions, GeoConnections/Natural Resources Canada, and IONIC Software have initiated the “OGC Web Services Context Document Schema Interoperability Experiment”.
The OpenGIS Web Map Service Specification (WMS), used widely in the marketplace, specifies how individual Web map servers describe and provide their map content. The OpenGIS Web Map Context Documents Specification 1.0 provides an open standard format to store the instructions necessary to recreate a Web map request and application.
A “context document” includes information about what map server(s) provide which map layer(s) for map portrayal, and information about the area of interest and the map projection. This capability allows Web users to save, share and modify the exact instructions necessary to recreate a Web mapping session with the most current available data from providers.
Building on the Web Map Context Document, the OWS Context Document experiment will produce a draft schema for referencing other OGC Web Services, such as Web Feature Services (WFS) and Web Coverage Services (WCS). This schema will be introduced into the OGC Specification Process, possibly resulting in an adopted OpenGIS Specification.
Interoperability Experiments, a new kind of OGC Interoperability Initiative, are brief, low-overhead initiatives led and executed by OGC members to achieve specific technical objectives that further the OGC Technical Baseline. They provide an opportunity for three or more OGC members to launch and run an initiative without the more substantial sponsorship resources that are typically required for OGC’s testbeds and pilot projects.