Review of AGI Tech SIG and OGC event

Note – this post also appears on the AGI blog.

On Monday I helped organise an AGI Technical SIG event from the OGC on the UK Interoperability Assessment Plugfest (or UKIAP for short – not to be confused with the political party UKIP of course!). Bart De Lathouwer from OGC, Peter Cotroneo from OS, and Paul Lacey from DSTL all presented and gave a great overview of the OGC, and thedifferent programmes they operate, as well as discussing theUKIAP and what it means for the wider geospatial community. The programmes cover standards, compliance, outreach and the interoperability programme. UKIAP covers mostly all the separate programmes with its work.

The UKIAP is all about trying to ensure software suppliers are consuming OGC standards as expected, and is really important for business and government for the sharing of geospatial information.
Embedded image permalinkImagine a company which has 5 departments all using slightly different GIS and CAD software but they want to share information – this is where OGC standards can help! Phase 1 of UKIAP was a closed door affair (what happens in Las Vegas (or Blackpool was used in this case!) stays in Las Vegas (or Blackpool!), with each of the 11 suppliers testing their software against 5 OGC standards (GML, WMS, WMTS, WMS-C, and WFS). A series of tests were performed to basically determine if the standard worked as expected in different geospatial software. The next stage is Phase 2 of the UKIAP on the 3rd March. The results from Phase 2 will be published and so everyone can see how the different software performed against the standards. What happens in “Blackpool” will be revealed!

There were plenty of questions from the audience about the OGC too, and Bart talked about how standards can prevent vendor lock in, and bring consensus to the geospatial community. Everyone agreed it was an interesting event and we hope we can put on more of these events. We followed the event by the ever popular geodrinks at a local hostelry.