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OES Electronic Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 13. May 16, 2005

GEOSS - Standards Committee seeks Members

The message below is adapted from an email sent by Jay Pearlman, who is spearheading the effort to form the working group for standards related to eh Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

This note is to request recommendations for IEEE members that are interested in working on facilitating standards for development and operation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). GEOSS will provide major steps forward in providing global information - data and products - for improved environmental management and significant societal benefits. At this point, we need to form the working group for Standards and we are looking for IEEE members that are interested in working on GEOSS and in facilitating the standards efforts. Below is additional information.

Standards Facilitator Essential for GEOSS Success

The ambitious goal of GEOSS, linking millions of established regional, national and international data sources and datasets into a single network, will succeed only if the participants agree to and implement a set of interoperability arrangements, including standards for collecting, processing, storing, and disseminating shared metadata, data, and derived products. The magnitude and scope of the standards effort essential to achieving this goal are unprecedented and will require the combined efforts of many national and international organizations. Coordination of these efforts is clearly needed.

The GEOSS 10-year Implementation Plan emphasizes building on existing systems and initiatives, and points to the importance of using existing international standards organizations and institutes as a focal point for the GEOSS interoperability objectives as they relate to and use standards. Thus, it will be desirable for all relevant standard setting organizations to cooperate in order to maximize effectiveness while setting strategy, allocating resources, building communication links, and enacting standards outreach and training programs. A partial list of relevant bodies includes:

  • Committee on Earth Observation Satellites - CEOS,
  • Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems - CCSDS,
  • Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. - OGC,
  • International Organization for Standardization - ISO,
  • International Electrotechnical Commission - IEC,
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - IEEE,

as well as national standards bodies that are not adequately represented in the above list.

It is the recommendation of IEEE that there be a standards facilitation role within or under the purview of GEO. Although GEO will establish and oversee the interoperability arrangements needed for GEOSS, to the best of the IEEE's knowledge, the role of standards facilitator does not yet exist. Any such body must be sensitive to the fact that there are many organizations developing diverse standards applicable to observing systems that may not wish to see their role diminished as GEO moves forward. It is not IEEE's position that the standards facilitator would displace any of these current activities. The GEO must help drive agreement on standards for each technical component of GEOSS. The GEO must also identify the areas where new standards are required and then must enact a process to have them developed, formalized and then implemented.

In addition, the GEO must support education and outreach for international participants and help increase technical, governmental and public awareness.

A standards facilitator would help greatly in these efforts and ensure that the vast resources invested in realizing the dreams of GEOSS are put to best use.

For additional information, contact Jay Pearlman jay.pearlman@boeing.com.

For information on other OES activities, go to http://www.oceanicengineering.org

Send comments regarding this newsletter to the editor, Dr. Diane DiMassa, ddimassa@ieee.org