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[OGC Press Release] OGCE a Partner in Major European Geographic Information Effort

OGC Press Release announce@opengis.org
Fri, 1 Mar 2002 16:46:53 -0500


For information about this announcement, contact:
Mark Reichardt
Director, Marketing and Public Sector Programs
Open GIS Consortium, Inc.
tel: +1-301-840-1361

OGCE a Partner in Major European Geographic Information Effort

London, UK , March 1, 2002. The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC)
announced that its subsidiary, Open GIS Consortium (Europe), Limited
(OGCE) is a partner with the European Umbrella Organisation for
Geographic Information (EUROGI), the European Commission - Joint
Research Centre (JRC), and the University of Sheffield in a far-reaching
European geographic information (GI) project entitled Geographic
Information Network in Europe (GINIE).

The GINIE project brings together three crucial sets of players: the
national and pan-European GI associations represented by EUROGI, the
European Commission, represented by its Joint Research Centre, and
industry through the European arm of OGC. The project is coordinated by
the University of Sheffield, one of the OGC members, also strongly linked
to the European GI research community.

In addition to raising awareness, GINIE work packages provide for
establishing a common European approach for engaging with regional
and global geographic information forums regarding European
geographic information strategies and capacity building. To learn more
about the objectives and work programme of the GINIE project, see
http://www.ec-gis.org/ginie/. GINIE began on the 1st November 2001 for a
two year period during which it will establish a permanent European
Advisory Board for Geographic Information (ABGI).

GINIE is an Information Society Technologies Programme (IST)
programme "Accompanying Measure" focused on developing the
European Geographic Information Strategy. IST is a major research
programme managed by the Information Society Directorate General of
the European Commission. Countries around the world have been
developing GI strategies in recent years as governments have become
aware of the benefits and challenges of providing agencies, citizens, and
businesses with shared, easily discoverable, readily accessible, well-
integrated spatial information. GINIE will work on policy and coordination
issues related to GI capacity building and will promote wider
understanding of the technical and institutional issues that major
stakeholders must address. The GINIE project will provide strategic input
to the new European Commission initiative developing an Infrastructure
for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE), organize the 8th EC GIS
Workshop in Dublin in July 2002, and contribute to the international
debate taking place at the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference
in Budapest in September 2002.

Ian Masser, president of EUROGI, said, "We are very pleased that the EC
is supporting our work with OGCE in the GINIE project. It represents a
major step forward for everyone in Europe, really, because spatial
information potentially has such universal value for citizens, businesses,
and government. Realizing this potential requires exactly the kind of
concerted effort that is embodied in GINIE."

Alessandro Annoni of the JRC, heading the Technical Coordination and
Secretariat group of the INSPIRE initiative, said, "IST and the European
Commission are fortunate to have EUROGI and OGCE working together
in GINIE. Each does an excellent job of representing their constituencies,
and these are the two constituencies that must work together to build the
European spatial data infrastructure."

OGC an international industry consortium of over 230 companies,
government agencies and universities participating in a consensus
process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface
specifications. OpenGISŪ Specifications support interoperable solutions
that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and
mainstream IT, and empower technology developers to make complex
spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of
applications. Visit the OGC web site at www.opengis.org.

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