The OWS-4 sponsors are organizations from multiple countries seeking open standards for their interoperability requirements: GeoConnections (Canada), Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL (U.S.), BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Corp., the U.S. National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), other major U.S. agencies, the National Technology Alliance, the NATO C3 Agency, the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain, and TeleAtlas NV. OWS-4 activities are proceeding in coordination with other standards initiatives in OASIS, IEEE, and IAI.
After analyzing the sponsors' input, the OGC Interoperability Team recommended to the sponsors that the content of the OWS-4 initiative be organized around the following seven threads:
- Sensor Web Enablement (SWE): Standards for discovering and accessing Web-resident sensors
- Geo Processing Workflow (GPW): Development of GML application schemas and testing OWS in the larger Web service workflow environment
- Geo Decision Support (GeoDSS): Refining OWS as an open framework for DSS
- Geo-Digital Rights Management (GeoDRM): Standards to support geospatial DRM, including underlying security standards
- Computer Aided Design/Geospatial/Building Information Model integration (CAD/GIS/BIM)
- OGC Location Services (OpenLS): Extending OGC standards for location-based services
- Compliance Testing (CITE): Improving tools for testing compliance and interoperability of products and services that implement OGC standards
OWS initiatives are part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, hands-on and collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test, and deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiative's sponsoring organizations. OGC Interoperability Initiatives include test beds, pilot projects, interoperability experiments, and interoperability support services—all designed to encourage rapid development, testing, validation, and adoption of OGC standards.
The OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 300 companies, government agencies, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that geo-enable the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.