Minutes from the teleconference during the 3rd session July 2nd

Several of us had issues with GoToMeeting during the third session of the Ideas4OGC sessions of July 1/2. We decided to conduct our own meeting since we could not join the main meeting.


  • Paula McCloud - Geoconnections
  • Edric Keighan - Cubewerx
  • Doug Nerbert (temporary)
  • Adrian Custer


Adrian: Gave an overview of Tevor's presentation & the twiki site

Edric: The approach to this work seems okay.

Some specific issues need resolution before future progress can be made. When asked, he clarified that he really meant that the fallout from the GeoServices process needs resolution:
  • What was different with this spec?
    • spec came from outside
    • different from KML: KML was less extensive, did not overlap as much, people were not as aware of it.
    • Edric raised issues early in process but these were not registered, said the GeoServices document almost went through the Fast Track process except for early opposition, even the OAB were not aware of the contents of the standard initially.
  • OGC members cannot readily provide opinions when outside standards are proposed to the OGC
  • OGC Steering Comittee relies on architecture board for all technical decisions, which also means for non-technical decisions
  • The OGC operates one-way; members have no say.
  • The only feedback is through the newsletter, there is no two-way discussion channel from the membership with the leadership

Paula: Looking at membership there is a major contingent from North Am. and sponsorship is predominantly North American. However, the NA forum has been less vibrant than hoped for. Also there is a big gap between TC meetings in the United States.

Decisions on GSR seem to have happened at meetings in far off places with fewer participants.

The OGC should think about refocusing on its North American members.

She has heard similar sentiments from others.

The virtual meeting worked for her and she liked it. She missed the one on one discussions of live meeting. She also noted that she felt less freedom to speak on a virtual teleconference. It was a good try. It was nice that it was so quick; but it looked like no one was there.

Edric: Virtual meeting was effective, good results require focus.

Adrian: Wondered if there was an intermediate between all together TC and virtual TC such as a split TC where each region would gather locally and then virtual teleconf jointly.

Edric: "interoperability" used to be the focus of the TC. That seems to have been de-emphasized by the Board of Directors. There is a disconnect of the Board from the 'business' and the technology side.

Paula: The voting proceedure, in her experience, people mostly abstain except to approve. Has the process not worked well so far?

Cedric: Mostly the votes were done at the closing plenary of TC meetings; recently it seems there has been a shift to E-Votes. WFS was the only other vote in memory with 'no' votes and that approval took a long time. It was more complex than WMS and the first standard to compete with SQL for data access. Ultimately the process was not a blocker for WFS.

Paula: Recently undertook a review of decision making processes at various organizations, concluded the OGC was a 'voluntary concession process'

Adrian: The recent proposed changes to the voting seem to move strongly from what is de-facto a consensus process to a narrow majority process which compeltely changes the nature of decisions.

Edric: The OGC does not have a full consensus process; it used to but that was changed. There exists efforts towards consensus but a full concesus could not be enforced. So far voting has worked well.

All: Wondered how many votes had been stalled due to two 'no' votes and if any other had been repeatedly stalled.

Edric: What is different for GeoServices. The basic rule of interoperability was dropped.

There was discussion early on about adopting the standard but no decision was made and membership was not consulted. Instead, the Board of Directors relied on the Architecture Board's advice but this was not a technical decision.

The standard was not proposing new interfaces to existing services but was proposing entirely new services.

The OGC has been looking at broadening market share; that has possibly dilluted resources.

No one is aware of all the activity going on at the OGC which is a weakness.

Since there exists other specifications, the OGC could focus on developing interfaces to those other specs. rather than trying to adopt the specs. as OGC standards.

A central question is who gets to control the specification when an external specification has been adopted as an OGC Standard; it might be worth looking at KML in that regards: who is driving its innovation now? Ultimately this question of control means that adopting external specifications as OGC standards cannot work.

The OGC and sponsors have not worked sufficiently to integrate with other specifications.
Topic revision: r1 - 02 Aug 2013, AdrianCuster
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