Aotearoa (aka New Zealand) and the city of Palmerston North welcomed the OGC December meeting (from the 4th until the 8th). OGC meetings are used for standard discussion and presentation from multiple working groups for example, the Coverages & DataCube DWG (Domain Working Group) or Agriculture DWG. Parallel to the meeting (or integrated into it) it was possible to attend the Location Power event see multiple presentations concerning data and agritech interoperability and the Environmental Data Summit for the discussion of OGC standards used in environmental projects or data portals

Since the meeting took place in New Zealand a considerable number of participants from local governmental organizations like: Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), Land Information Information New Zealand. It was interesting to see how these big governmental organizations in New Zealand use OGC services to disseminate their data to citizens and other institutes. During the full week those organization made multiple presentation on their local systems, and how much they have benefited from implementation of services and standards.

For the most technical savvy the meeting had considerable surprises: First, OGC has been criticized as being  slow reacting  and to complex, this is far from reality. New developments and approaches are focused on using openAPI specs and REST support for new standards and reimplement old one using this approach, making OGC services and standards more web friendly and technically less heavy and hard to implement. Second, the OGC’s Spatial Data on the Web working Group has been actively working with W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) defining the best strategies for spatial data to be used in internet, as result in September 2017 it was published the “Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices” this is a must-read document if you are working with spatial data.

Finally, how do you recognize a black swan when you see it ??? This is a silly question whose objective is to test if innovation, disruptive technologies can be identified, one black swan  was presented in the Architecture Domain Working Group by Jérôme Jacovella-St-Louis (Ecera) where he presented “A Unified Map Service” whose idea is to use the OGC Web Services into a single structure for example WFS and WMS would be just a single service sharing operations like GetCapabilities, ListLayers etc etc.

Jorge de Jesus