[OSGeo-Discuss] Would you be concerned if the "GeoServices REST API" became an OGC standard?

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Mon May 6 08:39:23 PDT 2013

The part that bothers me the most about this has to do with the big 
picture. I'm concerned that if we focus on this or that standard without 
putting it into the larger context that poor(bad?) decisions are getting 
made that set precedents for more bad decisions to follow.

This had been touched on buy the other responses. There are plenty of 
standards the are defacto because companies have published them and they 
have been widely adopted across their respective industry and this is 
goodness, but I'm not sure that it is justification for making it a 
"standard" unless it meets the goals and objects of the standard's body 
that wants to adopt it.

I think it would be very divisive to fracture and dilute the momentum 
that we have finally achieved with the WxS standards, unless there is 
clearly a need to grow beyond what exists today that can not be achieved 
by growing WxS in a compatible way.


On 5/6/2013 11:11 AM, Daniel Morissette wrote:
> I am also of the opinion that "single-vendor standards" such as KML and
> this GeoServices REST API are turning OGC into a rubber-stamping
> organization and this is not what the geospatial community needs. Don't
> get me wrong, it is good to see these openly published, but the
> publication should be by their owners (Google and ESRI in those case)
> and not be rubber-stamped by OGC.
> What the geospatial community needs is an organization that provides
> direction around a consistent set of standards that guarantee
> interoperability between interchangeable software components.
> The suite of WxS services built over the last 10-15 years is somewhat on
> the way of achieving this, even if some pieces still do not interoperate
> as smoothly as we wish. Is OGC trying to tell the world that it no
> longer believes in WxS?
> OGC and its members need to decide whether they want the OGC logo to be
> perceived as the "guarantee of interoperability", or just as a
> rubber-stamping organization with a large portfolio of inconsistent
> standards.
> Whether your source is open or closed is out of the question here, so I
> am not sure that a statement from OSGeo matters unless it is to point at
> this obvious slippery slope in which OGC is falling (a movement which
> started with KML a few years ago).
> Daniel
> On 13-05-06 3:41 AM, Jeroen Ticheler wrote:
>> All,
>> Having read this thread I support what has been said by Adrian, Bruce
>> and others. If anything, acceptance of a set of standards that
>> basically replicates what W*S standards already do will confuse
>> customers. Maybe that is exactly what esri hopes to achieve, it
>> definitely doesn't help our (the geospatial community) business. And
>> as Bruce states, it will have serious impact on the OGC credibility.
>> As OSGeo I can imagine that we then decide to start our own
>> standardization process and build a standards brand around OSGeo
>> products. Not a nice perspective, let's hope OGC won't go down that
>> route.
>> Jeroen
>> On 6 mei 2013, at 01:08, bruce.bannerman.osgeo
>> <bruce.bannerman.osgeo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Cameron,
>>> My personal opinion is that if this proposal was accepted, it would
>>> be a bad move for OGC.
>>> Remember that OGC is a community and its Technical Committee
>>> membership are the people who vote on the acceptance of Standards.
>>> The TC comprises many different organisations.
>>> I do understand that OGC are trying to be inclusive in their
>>> processes and to try and cater for alternative approaches to a
>>> problem, much the same as OSGeo does in supporting multiple projects
>>> that essentially handle similar use cases (e.g. GeoServer, MapServer
>>> and Degree).
>>> I have also personally witnessed ESRI's commitment to helping to
>>> further the development of Open Spatial Standards through their work
>>> on OGC Working Groups and at OGC Technical Committee meetings.
>>> ESRI also have made a valid point in their response to the 'NO' vote
>>> for the GeoServices REST API that the OGC has already allowed
>>> alternate approaches with the acceptance of netCDF as a data format
>>> and KML as a combined data/presentation format.
>>> With the GeoServices REST API, I think that the approach proposed:
>>> - is very divisive for the OGC community.
>>> - essentially appears to propose an alternate way for working with
>>> spatial services that does not utilise or build on the W*S suite of
>>> services that have been developed through robust community processes
>>> for in excess of a decade.
>>> - does not provide REST bindings to the W*S suite of standards that
>>> have been widely implemented in a range of software.
>>> - will result in confusion within the user community that are trying
>>> to utilise 'OGC' services.
>>> If this approach were to be adopted, I believe that OGC will go too
>>> far down the alternate solution approach and will risk losing its
>>> public acceptance as one of the key leaders of open spatial standards.
>>> I'm interested in hearing other OSGeo members opinions as to how this
>>> proposal would affect their projects.
>>> Would you consider implementing the GeoServices REST API within your
>>> projects?
>>> If you did, would you maintain support for both it and traditional
>>> W*S services?
>>> Bruce
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