The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) issues a Request for Information (RFI)

Satellite image of planet EarthThe Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit industry input into a Fusion Standards Study to be conducted in preparation for the planned OGC Web Services, Phase 7 (OWS-7) Testbed.

OGC also seeks to establish alliances with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) having technology relevant to fusion.

Responses to the RFI are requested by August 12, 2009. The RFI includes instructions for how organizations can respond. Please contact George Percivall at with any questions.

In the context of this RFI, Fusion is the act or process of combining two or more pieces of data or information regarding one or more entities in order to improve the capability for detection, identification, or characterization of that entity.

This RFI is based on requirements and contributions from several OGC Member organizations, including the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency (NGA), BAE Systems – C3I Systems, and Lockheed Martin.

The study will conduct a survey of standards and implementations that support geospatial fusion. It will review existing standards regarding fusion; recommend future standards or integration or harmonization of standards; and plan for evaluating standards through OGC’s OWS-7 testbed to be conducted later this year.

OGC testbeds, pilot projects and interoperability experiments are part of OGC’s Interoperability Program, a global, hands-on collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test and deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC’s Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release.

OGC’s Interoperability Dovetails with GEOSS

OGC standards allow independently developed software systems to communicate about geospatial data.  OGC standards are used in web applications like Google Earth and NASA World Wind as well as most GIS software products and geoscience data systems.  The current study of “geospatial fusion” extends this capability to consider how data from very different sources can be brought together to answer a multitude of users questions.  The fusion study will investigate how standards enable communication between the wide variety of geospatial data types and software systems and thereby provide decision makers and researchers with results in rapid, web-based fashion.

SRTM + LandSat 7: Mt. St. Helens, Washington

SRTM + LandSat 7: Mt. St. Helens, Washington

GEOSS is based upon the contribution of many systems that were previously and independently developed.  The vision of GEOSS is that over time these systems will exchange information with the minimum of modification to the existing systems by consensus adoption of international standards.  OGC is leading a GEOSS pilot to show how international standards, including OGC standards, can be used to meet the needs of the Societal Benefit Areas of discovery, access and fusion of data from the many systems of GEOSS.  The GEOSS Architecture Pilot (AIP), based in part on the mature processes of the OGC Interoperability Program, has involved over 100 organizations in elaborating the GEOSS architecture.  AIP, Phase 1 (AIP-1) contributed components and services to the initial operating capability of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI).  AIP-2 augmented the GCI by defining and executing a reusable process for deploying SBA scenarios into the GCI and the full set of contributed services and components of GEOSS.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 380 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 homepage at

Please read Earthzine’s other articles regarding the OGC: Geospatial Web Services and Cross-Boundary Information Sharing During Disasters and Google, Microsoft and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC);