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December 18th, 2007
OGC Processes Advance GEOSS Interoperability

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PR – The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) processes contributed to the interoperability achievements announced in the "GEOSS Report on Progress 2007" accepted by the Member Nations of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) at their EO Summit in Cape Town on 30 November.

At the Summit, representatives of 71 member governments, the European Commission, and 46 participating organisations of GEO met to assess progress on the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS), a global, coordinated, comprehensive and sustained system of earth observing systems to provide vast quantities of near-real-time information of the Earth’s land, oceans, atmosphere and biosphere through interoperability arrangements agreed to among all contributing systems.

During the EO Summit, ministers of GEO Member Nations were presented the "GEOSS Report on Progress 2007" and they unanimously approved the "Cape Town Declaration" reaffirming their commitment to the development of the GEOSS. The GEOSS Report on Progress highlighted the news that the development of interoperability of GEOSS was ahead of schedule.

Development of GEOSS interoperability is led by the GEO Architecture and Data Committee. As part of this committee, the OGC leads a core task to develop the GEOSS initial operating capability. The OGC led the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot, an OGC Interoperability Initiative, which has brought together technical contributions from over 120 organizations. Demonstrations of the capability for seven societal benefit areas can be viewed at:

Ivan DeLoatch, co-chair of the GEOSS Architecture and Data Committee and the FGDC Staff Director stated, "The OGC processes for developing interoperable infrastructures serve as an excellent framework for informing the system of systems approach of GEOSS. The lessons learned from these processes will provide a basis for the ongoing architectural developments of GEOSS."

GEOSS Interoperability is based on non-proprietary, formal international standards. OGC standards were extensively used in the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot, including the OpenGIS® Web Map Server (WMS), Web Feature Server (WFS), Web Coverage Server (WCS) and Catalog Services – Web (CSW) Implementation Specifications.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 340 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at

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