[geo-discuss] OGC's Geospatial Rights Management Summit to be held on June 22 at MIT in Cambridge, MA

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Wed Jun 3 11:44:47 UTC 2009

For anyone in the vicinity, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is
having a Geospatial Rights Management Summit at MIT later this month!


---------- Forwarded message ----------

I wonder if you would send the invitation below to the people on your
Open Knowledge Foundation list. Some of them may be interested in
attending the OGC's Geospatial Rights Management Summit to be held on
June 22 at MIT in Cambridge, MA.

I believe the work of the OGC's Geospatial Rights Management Working
Group (http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/geormwg) and the
OGC's development of an open architecture for the Global Earth
Observation System of Systems
(http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/geoss/ogc) are
critical enablers of a new era in which all types of geospatial
scientific data will aggregate into a permanent and increasingly
important knowledge resource. The benefits -- which I think are
extraordinary -- are outlined after the press release below under
"Open Access to Geospatial Data," extracted from an article by Dr.
Mike Jackson et al.

I helped found the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in 1994 and
continue to serve the OGC as a consultant.

Lance McKee
10 Circuit Avenue East
Worcester, MA
phone/fax: 508-752-0108
cell: 508-868-2295
lmckee at opengeospatial.org

For information, contact:

Sam Bacharach
Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption
Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc
tel: +1-703-352-3938
sbacharach at opengeospatial.org

OGC Announces Geospatial Rights Management Summit

May 6, 2009, Wayland, Massachusetts.The Open Geospatial Consortium,
Inc. (OGC®) invites participation in an OGC Geospatial Rights
Management (GeoRM) Summit to be held June 22, 2009 at the Stata Center
at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Geospatial data and services -- Earth images, GIS, map browsers,
location services, navigation, etc. -- have become an integral part of
our information environment. But this progress raises issues of
security, public access, intellectual property, and emergency use of
geospatial information. The issues are complex because geospatial data
products are often composed of data from multiple sources which may
have different rights and restrictions associated with them. Thus,
business and policy issues, not technical issues, are now the industry

"The OGC's Geospatial Digital Rights Management Reference Model
(GeoDRM RM) provides a framework that enables much more than today's
‘all or nothing' protection," explained Graham Vowles, chair of
the GeoRM Working Group (
http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/geormwg ) of the OGC
Technical Committee. "This has important implications for governments
and scientists whose data would have far more value if the data could
be readily shared."

"Standards based on the GeoDRM RM will open up many new opportunities
for geospatial data and geoprocessing service businesses," said Mark
Reichardt, the OGC's president and CEO. "We are holding this summit to
give multiple stakeholder communities an opportunity to see how they
can benefit from developing and using GeoRM standards."

For OGC GeoRM Summit information, agenda and registration, see

The OGC's June 2009 Technical Committee meeting week also includes a
Sensor Web Summit (  http://www.opengeospatial.org/event/090624swe )
hosted by the OGC's Sensor Web Enablement Working Group and a 3D Fusion
Summit http://www.opengeospatial.org/event/0906233dfusion ) hosted by
the OGC's 3DIM Working Group.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 380
companies, government agencies, research organizations, and
universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly
available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® Standards support
interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and
location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower
technology developers to make geospatial information and services
accessible and useful with any application that needs to be
geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at


(The paragraphs below are excerpted from "The Evolution of Geospatial
Technology Calls for Changes in Geospatial Research, Education and
Government Management", by
Prof. Mike Jackson, University of Nottingham; David Schell; and Prof.
D.R. Fraser Taylor, Carleton University. The article was published in
Directions Magazine  2009-04-07
http://www.directionsmag.com/author.php?author_id=568 .)

Open Access to Geospatial Data

Academics and those who fund their research should be acutely
interested in the proposition that geospatial data developed for
scientific purposes can be, in a Web environment, a resource whose
value increases with the number of researchers who use it. Geography
has always been interdisciplinary and GIS has always been a tool for
combining data from different sources. All geodata refers to some
aspect of the same Earth. If researchers properly document, archive
and publish their data and methodologies using available Web
technologies, standards and best practices, many benefits accrue:

a) Improved opportunities for cross-disciplinary and longitudinal
studies. This is key. Geography is inherently cross-disciplinary, and
a main underlying theme in modern science is the relatedness of
phenomena. We need interdisciplinary and longitudinal studies to help
us address critical problems such as resource depletion, climate
change, population, pollution, disaster management and adequate
provision of food, water, shelter and energy.

b) Improved verifiability of results. Science requires that
experiments be replicable, and therefore experimental data must be
available. In the context of the standards regime described above,
details of methods and semantics become more accessible for review. In
this new environment, GIS and remote sensing studies will be less
vulnerable to the accusation that pretty maps are being used to cover
up poor experimental design or biased reasoning. Climate science made
more verifiable will be harder to discredit or ignore.

c) Improved Web-based data publish/search capabilities. These make
much more data available and enable more efficient assessment of data.
In most cases, literature searches will be a much less efficient way
to discover data than direct data searches using online catalogs,
because researchers looking for previously collected data often do not
know which bodies of literature to search. For example, data collected
by an ornithologist may include temperature readings that would be
valuable to a hydrologist.

d) Improved ability to re-use or repurpose data for new
investigations, reducing redundant data collection, increasing the
value of data and creating opportunities for value-added data
enhancement. The value of data increases when the data can be re-used
or when they can be collected with the intention of serving multiple
research purposes. This benefits the public and those who fund
scientific research, and brings a greater return in terms of the
general application and use of science. It benefits data owners, who
may be able to charge for use of the data they generate or who may add
value to it to provide more useful and saleable products.

e) Improved opportunities to collaboratively plan data
collection/publishing efforts to serve multiple defined and undefined

f) Improved rigor and transparency regarding data collection methods,
processing methods and data semantics. The SensorML standard makes the
processing chain transparent. Generally agreed upon conventions for
describing data and methods (such as data reduction) contribute to
clarity and rigor.

g) Improved ability to discover spatial relationships. Researchers
will surely browse data and become curious about patterns they notice.
Robust data descriptions and quick access to the data will enable more
rapid exploration of hypothetical relationships.

h) Improved ability to characterize, in a standardized human-readable
and machine-readable way, the parameters of sensors, sensor systems
and sensor-integrated processing chains (including human
interventions). This enables useful unification of many kinds of
observations, including those that yield a term rather than a number.

i) Improved ability to "fuse" in-situ measurements with data from
scanning sensors. This bridges a historical divide between research
communities that have focused mainly on either unmediated raw
spatial-temporal data or spatial-temporal data that is the result of a
complex processing chain.

j) Improved ability to "chain" Web services for data reduction and
analysis, and improved ability to introduce data into computer models
that use multiple inputs from remote data stores or real-time data

k) Improved ability to encode sensor data in the ISO Feature Model
(ISO 19109). This is just one of the ways in which the OGC Sensor Web
Enablement (SWE) standards will enable scientists to leverage
off-the-shelf, standards-based tools for data modeling and management,
just as they currently use commercial spreadsheet and database

l) Improved societal and institutional return on investment of
research dollars, and improved ability of research funding
institutions to do due diligence and policy development.

m) More efficient scientific debate and accelerated pace of scientific
discovery, as automation and new institutional arrangements reduce the
amount of time spent on data management, freeing researchers' time for
more creative work and more communication with other scientists.

In the bioscience world, a similar vision has been put forward and
steps toward it taken by the Science Commons
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Commons), founded by Lawrence
Lessig. The Science Commons champions “Open Access” (OA), and OA was a
key enabler of the Human Genome Project.

Geospatial academics worldwide ought to note also the significance to
the research community taken by the recently installed Obama
administration in the US, which has resulted in the appointment as
co-chairs of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology Harold Varmus, co-founder of the Public Library of Science
and former director of the US-NIH, and Eric Lander, a lead researcher
in the Human Genome Project and founding director of the Broad
Institute (a joint MIT and Harvard institute which addresses the
effectiveness of “a new, collaborative model of science focused on
transforming medicine)". Varmus is one of the most high-profile
advocates of Open Access and the role of government in providing open
access, and both the Human Genome Project and the Broad Institute are
practitioners of open data. In this context, is it not then obvious
and provocative to consider the potential importance to geospatial
information science of recognizing the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation
System of Systems), within the US federal government as well as the
world scientific community, to be an initiative that is similar to and
as important as the Human Genome project?

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation

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