Fossgis: osgeo and OGC - Athina Trakas

Tags: fossgis, geo, nelenschuurmans

OGC (open geospatial consortium) is a standards organisation. Standard-wise they’re in between ISO and W3C/IETF’s style of standards and standards process. ISO is de jure and aims at domain standards, W3C is de facto and aims at infrastructure standards. OGC is in between both. (Osgeo would be mostly de facto and domain-oriented).

As an example of an OGC standard: WMS, web map service. They try to live by the “publish early and release often” paradigm. Standards development is consensus-based and transparent.

The OGC and osgeo have signed a memorandum of understanding. Members of one organisation can participate in the other. Some other items in the memorandum:

  • Extra reference implementations.

  • Defining new requirements and use cases for new or existing OGC standards.

  • More feedback.

OGC standards are open (freely and publicly available, no license costs). “People want the governement to be transparent, so why shouldn’t the technology be the same?” Open standards help everyone. Companies can do work for more customers and customers get more choice in companies to work for them. Interoperability boosts competition. And more transparency in open standard setting can lead to more effecient outcomes.

Most OGC work is done in working groups (note to self: there’s a hydrology working group! It is even one of the open working groups. The company that I work for, Nelen & Schuurmans, does consultancy for everything water-related. And we make geographical watermanagement websites (see a presentation), which is why I’m at this conference).

The number one thing that’s important: communication! The start of a standard is a mail to a working group. And you can mail the technical commitee. And you can mail the user mailing list. Communication!

See if you can join and cooperate in the standard process. Avoid a consumer mentality! And: don’t invent the wheel anew, use the experience of others and tell others of your experience.

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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