[OSGeo-Standards] OGC vote on LAS 1.4 as a community standard

Howard Butler howard at hobu.co
Tue Jan 31 07:23:09 PST 2017

Collating this thread together into a single response...

> On Jan 31, 2017, at 2:34 AM, Peter Baumann <p.baumann at jacobs-university.de> wrote:
>> another (GeoRSS) was created by a small group of volunteers.
>> OGC's shepherding of GeoRSS and corresponding implementation and ownership confusion was a very significant event that shaped my active participation in community-oriented standards efforts like ASPRS LAS and GeoJSON. GeoRSS was frustrating experience. The lesson of GeoRSS was an OGC "community stamp" should not ever be a quitclaim deed to transfer the community management and ownership of the specification to OGC, especially if the community of implementations around that document is still actively using, engaging, and supporting it.
> Huh? OGC shold stand for it, but OGC has no means to do active quality control?
> Interesting concept.

> In other words: OGC should give a rubberstamp, but without any opportunity of
> correcting possible flaws. Aka self-service shop for branding.

It was OGC and OGC's membership that put forward LAS as a community standard, not the ASPRS LAS committee. OGC should not get to "quality control" anything. If OGC thinks it is not of high enough quality, they can proliferate a new document with new language, a new name, and no branding relationship to LAS. OGC should not get to benefit from the goodwill the LAS community has grown *and* be able to iterate the document to add support for its pets or modify it to align it with its other specifications for organizational purity reasons.

OGC community standards are cobranding that allows OGC to both not do the work of making a new thing *and* take the reputational benefit of the community it seeks to cobrand. OGC shouldn't also get the benefit of being able to modify the existing document to serve its needs and force all implementations to catch up in the process. Are there any examples of OGC community standards where it was the co-opted community that asked to be OGC-branded?  

We have built a significant implementation ecosystem for LAS for lidar. It's as entrenched as Shapefile is for vector data or GeoTIFF is for raster data. Individual OGC members could have joined ASPRS and participated on the committee if they needed things done. OGC membership doesn't get to show up now, after the fact, and under the auspices of stamping it a "community standard", have the right to modify the document and disrupt the implementations we have been working to nurture. Scott and OGC leadership have been clear there is no intention to do that with LAS.


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