rasdaman newsletter 05/2021

Consolidating Coverage Fundaments

ISO, in close collaboration with OGC, develops and maintains geo imagery standards - more generally: spatio-temporal coverages. ISO 19123-1 defining coverage fundamentals now has moved to Draft International Standard (DIS) level, following international consensus.

Coverages unify spatio-temporal regular and irregular grids, point clouds, and general meshes. With the central role in particular raster data and point clouds play it has become obvious that concepts and terminology are not always interpreted identically, in particular as so many diverse application domains increasingly use and exchange coverages. A clear conceptual foundation, therefore, is critical for developing implementation interoperable standards, tools, and services.

In ISO, the outdated 19123 standard is being replaced by 19123-1 defining the abstract fundament and 19123-2 providing an interoperable implementation specification. 19123-2 has been adopted in 2019, based on the OGC Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS). 19123-1 is under work; Prof. Liping Di from George Washington University, USA serves as project leader and Prof. Peter Baumann, German national delegate to ISO, is the editor of the specification, supported by a team with experts from Canada, France, and USA.

Based on a specification written by Peter Baumann and submitted by DIN the team has refined the specification and presented it for voting in summer 2020. In the December virtual ISO meeting the outcome turned out very encouraging: no objection from any ISO member country lifting it to Draft International Standard (DIS).

"We have spent the past year in intense work and scrutiny, from all angles" explains document editor Peter Baumann. "The team is most happy to see that no delegation has objected to the specification elaborated."

The last step, for which only editorial changes are allowed any longer, will be final adoption as International Standard (IS). OGC has signaled that they will adopt 19123-1 as an update to their Abstract Topic 6. INSPIRE likewise bases its coverage services on it.

Currently the 19123-1 document is undergoing final formal edits to proceed along the ISO pipeline, including translation into the languages ISO supports.