UK: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks public comment on the latest version of the Web Feature Service standard: WFS 3.0. The WFS 3.0 development has been conducted in a public manner with contributions from the wider geospatial community occurring through a GitHub repository and in a public hackathon.
An OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) offers the capability to retrieve, create, modify and query spatial data on the Web.
All versions of the WFS standard have so far used a Remote-Procedure-Call-over-HTTP architectural style using XML for any payloads as it was state-of-the-art in the late 1990s and early 2000s when WFS was originally designed. The next version (WFS 3.0) is intended to provide a modern alternative and will specify a modernized service that aligns with the current architecture of the Web and the joint OGC-W3C Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices. The key changes relate to its architecture, encodings, reuse, modularization, schemas, and security.
As a result of this modernization, WFS 3.0 implementations will not be backward compatible with WFS 2.0 implementations per se. However, a design goal is to define WFS 3.0 in a way so that the WFS 3.0 interface can be mapped to a WFS 2.0 implementation.
WFS 3.0 is intended to be simpler and more modern, but still an evolution from the previous versions and their implementations.
The WFS standard is a multi-part document. This first part specifies the core capabilities that every WFS has to support and is restricted to read-access to spatial data. Additional capabilities that address specific needs will be specified in additional parts. Examples include support for creating and modifying data, more complex data models, richer queries, and additional coordinate reference systems.
An overview of the modernization of WFS3.0, including the key changes, is available in the GitHub repository: The next version of WFS – an overview.