The Roadmap for the Geospatial Platform states it “will be established as a service-oriented architecture based upon common, secure, interoperable and scalable open-standards based technologies.” The Roadmap also says that through the FGDC, standards that shall be evaluated for adoption by the Federal Government include: Geospatial data publication standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) L1 committee, and the FGDC including but not limited to the Web Services (features, map, processing, coverage, etc.).
This is a laudable objective and will provide increased transparency and collaboration capability for the Geospatial Platform. However, the Government should consider specifying which standards are to be implemented on a “sooner rather than later” basis. Advance guidance to the US technology community will help it better understand where potential investment, development and implementation may be needed. In addition, guidance on open-standards based technologies should clearly state that client applications and ingestion technology, as well as services and data, must implement the specified open-standards to participate in the geospatial platform. This will avoid interoperability problems, defacto stovepipes and lack of usability.