The OGC adopts Open Modelling Interface (OpenMI) Standard

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DThe Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) membership has approved the Open Modelling Interface Standard Version 2 (OpenMI) as an OGC standard. This standard defines a means by which independently developed computer models of environmental processes, or indeed any processes, can exchange data as they run and hence facilitates the modelling of interacting processes.

The original driver for the OpenMI was the European Water Framework Directive and the requirement for an integrated approach to water management. It was foreseen that implementing the Directive would be very challenging and that there would be a need to provide help, in the form of decision support systems (DSS), to environmental managers. As Earth systems are complex and interrelated, these DSS would need to bring together many models in order to better understand and predict the environmental impacts of events and policies. To make it feasible to link together models of different processes from different suppliers and hence simulate process interaction, the European Commission therefore co-funded the research and development of a generic model interface, the outcome of which is the OpenMI.

Roger Moore, chairman of the OpenMI Association, said, “The OpenMI Association sees huge opportunities ahead for many stakeholder groups if the linking of models of different processes as they run can be made simple and reliable. Our immediate goal is to facilitate the integrated modelling needed to understand Earth system processes and hence help scientists, policy makers and managers find sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. By publishing the OpenMI as an adopted OGC standard, we seek to make the OpenMI standard available and accessible to the worldwide modelling community.”

Environmental modelling is not the only application of integrated modelling. For example, a possible shorter term application will simply be in enabling developers to convert their existing large, and often unmanageable applications, into sets of linkable components. This could change the modelling market from one for complete systems into one for components and services. It could make it much easier for products to be brought to market, widen participation and dramatically drive up the rate of innovation.

The standard can be viewed and downloaded at More information is available on the OpenMI website at

“Progress toward a sustainable future depends on our improved understanding of Earth systems and our collective ability to act from the local to global levels,” said Mark Reichardt, President and CEO of the OGC. “This partnership with OpenMI enables our organizations to work more closely to assure that open standards-based modelling capabilities can be seamlessly and rapidly integrated into processing environments.”

The OpenMI Association is an entirely open not-for-profit international group of organizations and people dedicated to taking the OpenMI (Open Modelling Interface) forward into the future. Its primary objectives are to develop, maintain and promote the OpenMI and integrated modelling. Learn more about the OpenMI Association at

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, sensors and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at

[Source: OGC press release]

Web GIS-Based Public Health Surveillance Systems: A Systematic Review

isprsISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 2014, 3(2), 481-506

By Hui Luan and Jane Law

“Web Geographic Information System (Web GIS) has been extensively and successfully exploited in various arenas. However, to date, the application of this technology in public health surveillance has yet to be systematically explored in the Web 2.0 era. We reviewed existing Web GIS-based Public Health Surveillance Systems (WGPHSSs) and assessed them based on 20 indicators adapted from previous studies. The indicators comprehensively cover various aspects of WGPHSS development, including metadata, data, cartography, data analysis, and technical aspects. Our literature search identified 58 relevant journal articles and 27 eligible WGPHSSs. Analyses of results revealed that WGPHSSs were frequently used for infectious-disease surveillance, and that geographical and performance inequalities existed in their development. The latest Web and Web GIS technologies have been used in developing WGPHSSs; however, significant deficiencies in data analysis, system compatibility, maintenance, and accessibility exist. A balance between public health surveillance and privacy concerns has yet to be struck. Use of news and social media as well as Web-user searching records as data sources, participatory public health surveillance, collaborations among health sectors at different spatial levels and among various disciplines, adaption or reuse of existing WGPHSSs, and adoption of geomashup and open-source development models were identified as the directions for advancing WGPHSSs.”

OGC Seeks Comments on Charter for Agriculture Domain Working Group

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DAn OGC Agriculture Domain Working Group (SWG) is being chartered as an open forum for the discussion and presentation of interoperability requirements, use cases, pilots, and implementations of OGC standards in the Agriculture domain. Initiators of the new SWG seek comments from the public on the draft charter. The comment period closes on 2014-07-31. Comments should be submitted to

Few human activities are more tied to location, geography, and the geospatial landscape than agriculture. Farming businesses, food supply chains, and public agricultural policies are increasingly tied as well to quantitative data about crops, soils, water, weather, markets, energy, and biotechnology. Agriculture now touches many aspects of the work that OGC is doing to promote interoperability of geospatial data and geographic analysis. Data users include growers, consultants, landowners, suppliers, and foodstuff processors, as well as regulators at all levels of government.They have common needs to exchange data on the extent and utilization of farmland, soil and crop characteristics, water availability, environmental impacts, etc. The complexity in global food supply chains is leading to societal needs for tracking and tracing of products for purposes of food safety, tax collections, and customs operations efficiency. All of these activities require information standards that support market and regulatory transparency.

The rapid evolution of information technology in agriculture is being driven above all by historic challenges to traditional agricultural practice now posed by climate change, increasing population, shortage of water and arable land, pollution, and changing diet. As agriculture moves into an era of large-scale geospatial information exchange, it seems timely for an OGC Domain Working Group to support development, implementation and use of open interface and encoding standards and best practices that maximize interoperability and address these challenges.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at

[Source: OGC press release]