OGC seeks public comment on draft charter for new Environmental Data Retrieval API Standards Working Group

By using stable, standardized, service APIs based on simple data retrieval patterns, both the accessibility and use of data and information will be greatly improved.

29 August 2019: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks public comment on the draft charter for the new Environmental Data Retrieval API Standards Working Group (SWG).

The Environmental Data Retrieval API SWG will standardize some APIs, defined with OpenAPI Version 3, to retrieve various common data patterns from a data store. 

Much environmental data is truly 'Big Data', in that it cannot be readily copied and distributed in sensible timescales for many uses. By specifying precisely just the data required in a convenient pattern familiar to the user, a service provider can extract and serve the requested data, simplifying access for the user, and hiding the service implementation details, while being scalable both in terms of the underlying data volumes and the number of supported simultaneous users.

Using stable, standardized, service APIs based on simple data retrieval patterns will improve the access and use of data and information across different domains, including geospatial, facilitating more innovation and value. 

A goal of the SWG is that these standardized APIs will be consistent with the strategic direction established by OGC members for OGC API standards, such as  OGC API - Features and the future  OGC API - Common.

The service APIs will support both traditional and cloud-based approaches to computing and also enable a mix of public and private business models on a 'level playing field'. For example, no one country is capable of supplying weather forecast data at the highest useful resolutions for the whole globe, so a distributed scalable approach is essential, enabling both advanced countries and the  Least Developed Countries to contribute to global strategic initiatives of sustainability and development.

The SWG comes as part of a broader movement by OGC to modernize its spatial web APIs to conform to current practices on the web and to support the use of modern tooling, such as OpenAPI, to support developers wishing to spatially enable their web applications. OGC Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director of OGC’s Standards Program, Scott Simmons, outlined the movement in a recent blog post entitled  OGC APIs and the evolution of OGC standards.

“We now are taking the initiative to work across disciplines in OGC to get the next generation of these standards aligned early in their development and sufficiently modular to maximize their flexibility,” said Scott in his blog post. “Further, the use of OpenAPI makes it much easier for developers to implement the standards as requirements are defined in YAML or JSON, not just text. OpenAPI allows easy implementation in a number of languages and patterns and has proven very simple to use in creating RESTful implementations.”

The draft Environmental Data Retrieval API Standards Working Group charter is available for review and comment on the  OGC Portal. Comments are due by the 19th September 2019 and should be submitted via the method outlined on the  Environmental Data Retrieval API Standards Working Group draft charter request page.

About OGC

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 530 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities driven to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. 

OGC’s member-driven consensus process creates royalty free, publicly available geospatial standards. Existing at the cutting edge, OGC actively analyzes and anticipates emerging tech trends, and runs an agile, collaborative Research and Development (R&D) lab that builds and tests innovative prototype solutions to members' use cases.

OGC members together form a global forum of experts and communities that use location to connect people with technology and improve decision-making at all levels. OGC is committed to creating a sustainable future for us, our children, and future generations. Visit  ogc.org for more info on our work.



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