Mary Tobin

Mark E. Reichardt
Director, Marketing and Public Sector Programs
Open GIS Consortium, Inc.

Danielle Bizzarro
Director, Media Relations
Columbia Earth Institute

Columbia University to Host Upcoming OGC Meetings

Wayland, MA and Palisades, NY, January 28, 2002 - The Columbia Earth Institute will host the upcoming Meeting of the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, February 4-9, 2002.

OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 225 companies, government agencies, non-government organizations and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications that empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful in all types of applications.

The Earth Institute chose to host the meetings as the two organizations anticipate a close working relationship aimed at advancing the global information infrastructure to support multidisciplinary research for Earth science and sustainability. The Earth Institute is exploring ways of working with OGC over the long-term, including ways to expand the OGC network, as well as to advance geospatial interoperability in support of hazards and risk research, oceans and climate research, interoperability of research data and analytic software, and Earth and environmental data management and dissemination.

"OGC is privileged to hold its meetings at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, with its remarkable history of interdisciplinary work. By allowing OGC members to begin a necessary dialog with leading Earth and environmental researchers, this meeting will give us a unique opportunity to explore work on interoperability," explains OGC President David Schell. "We also appreciate the significance of meeting with colleagues already exploring interoperability in the context of New York City's response to recent events."

"The Columbia Earth Institute brings together a unique suite of scientific research in climate change science, hazards and risk research, biodiversity, Earth engineering and environmental policy and provides a valuable platform for the initiation and evaluation of multidisciplinary research and relief efforts taking place in the world. We anticipate that our involvement in OGC programs will enhance these objectives," said John Mutter, Executive Deputy Director of the Observatory and Associate Vice Provost of the Earth Institute.

The OGC Meeting in New York will bring together a number of programs and institutions that are focused on fostering collaboration among various "communities," in the scientific, public and private sectors.

The upcoming OGC Technical and Planning Committee proceedings will aim to advance OpenGIS® Specifications for public release. In addition, OGC will address several initiatives including a Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative, a Sustainable Development Initiative focusing on Africa, and the OGC Web Services Test Bed, where OGC members including Columbia's Center for International Earth Science Information Network are working to address geospatial interoperability issues identified by New York City officials during their response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Since its inception in 1996, the Columbia Earth Institute has been a leader in understanding Earth to enhance sustainability through Earth systems science teaching, research and the application of Earth and social science to benefit society.

OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 225 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. Visit the OGC website at


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