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

pcreso at pcreso.com pcreso at pcreso.com
Wed May 8 13:10:08 PDT 2013

Personal opinion in a nutshell:

>From an OGC perspective: (yes I'm a member via NIWA's affiliation - once I pay the current bill :-)

This is not a genuine attempt to improve interoperability & support open
 standards, it is an attempt to undermine open standards & replace 
existing open standards which are widely used & supported in the 
community by ratifying standards currently used by one commercial 

I'm currently responsible for implementing federated (interoperable) systems between research agencies & central/regional govt based on OGC standards. It these standards provide for disparate ways of doing the same thing, then "OGC standards compliant: will mean one of two things:
- may or may not work together depending on which OGC standards are supported
- everyone has to support both standards to be fully OGC compliant.

My organisation has just been quoted a few 10's of thousands of $ to develop a CSW service for ESRI datstores because, despite their claimed support for these standards - it is pretty minimal & of limited functionality & use. 

At present we can build federated, interoperable systems including CSW, SOS, WMS, WCS, WFS, etc, and if an agency fails to interoperate, that is their problem.
 This change would fundamentally reduce, if not destroy, the value of 
OGC standards to the wider community. 

>From an OSGEO perspective (I'm in the Australia/NZ chapter)

This weakens the FOSS community & strengthens ESRI's place in the global
 GIS community. OSGEO is there (IMHO) to support FOSS GIS. Agreeing to a
 change which gives a commercial competitor a strategic advantage - 
giving them a mandate to let the FOSS community play catchup - is NOT in the best interests of the FOSS community.

>From a FOSS perspective (I'm a council member of the NZOSS),

This is pretty much a repeat of Microsoft's refusal to support an existing, 
community based XML document/file standard & their forcing of a 
competing standard on the community, which has been of no value to the 
user community & created problems for the FOSS community.

We should learn from that fiasco & not make the same mistake again, as much as it in our power to prevent it. 


  Brent Wood
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