[OSGeo-Discuss] Is OGC losing its Way?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue May 7 13:53:38 PDT 2013

It seems this email from Edric Keighan to osgeo discuss must have 
bounced as he was not subscribed (or maybe due to having an attachment).

On 8/05/2013 3:27 AM, Edric Keighan <ekeighan AT cubewerx com> wrote:
> Dear All;
> We have been following with a lot of interest numerous emails 
> exchanged between OSGeo members and others regarding the positioning 
> of OSGeo vis-a-vis the proposed OGC GeoServices REST API. This email 
> is just to inform you that an opposition is also building up within 
> the OGC membership community and the attached letter has been sent to 
> all OGC TC voters who have not yet exercised their vote. People in OGC 
> and outside of OGC deserve to know the impact of such standard on the 
> future of OGC. It is our hope that a larger opposition will be forming 
> and solutions developed to meet the obvious needs for interoperability 
> in our industry.
> Regards,
> Edric Keighan - CubeWerx Inc.
> On behalf of:
> Cameron Shorter - LISASoft.
> Ron Lake - Galdos Systems Inc.
> Martin Daly - Cadcorp Ltd.
> Barry O'Rourke - Compusult Limited.

Original letter was in PDF, I've copied into text to make it easier for 
archiving. ...

The OGC Interoperability
Movement Team Leaders

To: All OGC members

May 6, 2013

Re: Is OGC losing its Way?

Dear OGC Member,
This is to inform you that an important OGC event deserves your 
immediate attention. This note is in reference to a vote that is taking 
place at OGC on a proposed specification named "OGC GeoServices REST 
API". If approved, it will have costly, far reaching, negative impacts 
on interoperability, and significantly tarnish the OGC’s reputation as a 
champion of interoperability.

During the last 15 years or so, we all have benefited from the 
collaborative effort of a large number of public and private 
organizations around the world to resolve numerous interoperability 
problems that have plagued our industry for many years. This has been an 
impressive achievement! But this movement will come to an end with the 
adoption of the proposed OGC GeoServices REST API.

The voting process has already started and we recommend that you add 
your NO vote to the list of OGC voters that already expressed their 
clear opposition to this standard.

While there is indeed support for RESTbased API ‘s in the geospatial 
community, REST is no more than a particular architectural style and 
should not be instantiated as a separate set of specifications as 
proposed by the "OGC GeoServices REST API". If the OGC community 
perceives a need for a REST style, then that should be developed in a 
general way (i.e. applicable to all OGC services) from the existing 
services. Note that a REST version of OGC WMTS exists and an OGC WFS 
version is currently being developed as part of OGC WFS 2.5 activities.

It is important that any REST API be general in nature and not bound to 
specific software tools such as Flex and Silverlight.

The proposed GeoServices REST API specification will create an immense 
amount of confusion in the marketplace that is not good for OGC, or for 
its mission of interoperability. For example, if this passes, OGC will 
have two RESTbased feature services and two RESTbased map services which 
are incompatible with one another. And soon after there will be 
duplicate REST implementations for all current OGC web service 
specifications. One solution to the confusion would be to just drop 
existing OGC services, or let the marketplace decide. In either case, 
there is then little need for the OGC as an active and innovative body 
to solve interoperability and information infrastructure problems.

If your organization is one that supports the activities and mission of 
the OGC, and believes that interoperable interfaces and encodings can be 
developed through a communitybased consensus process, then you need to 
look at the issues, make up your mind, and vote. This is not a time for 

It is our hope that the arguments below will convince you to support an 
already well entrenched interoperability movement at OGC:

* We see no viable outcomes and benefits to OGC members in 
rubberstamping software products if this will result in creating more 
interoperability problems.

* We believe that ‘rubber stamping’ existing software from a single 
vendor is unfair and anti-competitive, and not appropriate for OGC. This 
will only create an environment where the vendor with the deepest 
pockets wins to the detriments of all other players in the industry.

* The proposed GeoServices REST API specification overlaps with most OGC 
standards already deployed by many organizations across the world: WMS, 

* There are no needs for OGC to support duplicate standards that perform 
the same functionality; this does not make sense.

* In the eventuality that the GeoServices REST API is adopted, all 
organizations in the industry will have to bear extra costs for 
purchasing two sets of OGC standard products since they will not 

So, if you are like us, strong supporters of OGC’s stated goal of 
interoperability, the liberalisation of spatial data in ways that 
provide equal opportunities for all industry participants, small and 
large including the public, then you should register your NO vote today 
at the OGC site:


Best regards,
Edric Keighan, President & CEO CubeWerx Inc.
Ron Lake, CEO Galdos Systems Inc.
Martin Daly, Technology Director Cadcorp Ltd.
Camron Shorter, Geospatial Solutions Director, LISAsoft
Barry O’Rourke, President, Compusult Limited

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

More information about the Discuss mailing list