Summary

In 2011, Xentity supported the creation of a new standard which helped move OGC towards JSON and REST based architectures and more importantly create interoperability and reduced lock-in between making mash-ups and service configurations in one app then moving to another. This initially incubated as part of a USGS project proposed within the USFS Community for Data Integration efforts. Scientists were clear that one of the top three goals was to make it very simple to access core data assets easily. 

For example, if a user makes a web map, changes layers on/off, certain transparency, layer order, zoomed area of interest, certain feature service queries configurations were added, etc. then they wanted to move into a desktop application, there was no way to do this. ESRI had a standard for Web Map JSON configurations. Open source groups began creating many of their own. The OGC Web Map Context(WMC) profile was XML based and its legacy nature was aging as the web world advanced, this was no longer an option.

Problem and Solution

Given, Xentity supported the business requirements for a new open web service context profile. This eventually became the OWS context profile which would replace the OGC WMC profile. It also created a way for vendors to save maps or mash-ups as. They further prototyped with various web maps in ArcGIS API, OpenLayers, and Leaflet. Then, it saved as ArcMap MXD (precursor to the MSD and the ArcGIS Pro apex file).  Xentity analyzed multiple user stories, needs, projects, requirements, retired OGC standards, ISO, etc. Then, they supported the design of new specifications in XML and GeoJSON.  Xentity worked with the Committee as a voting and technical team member to develop documentation and support OGC presentations.

Outcome and Benefit

The effort led to improved standards integrations; many save as and open-in modules were implemented at USGS on these concepts. The OGC deployed the new standard based on the OGC OWS Context Conceptual Model released in 2014. More than this, even in cases where OWS Context Profile itself is not used, the concepts of Open In and Save As proliferate applications and platforms stacks as a common feature in geospatial as a result.