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[location-iwg] Presenting myself and proposing GeoAPI for consideration

Hello all

I would like to introduce myself: My name is Martin Desruisseaux. I'm the chair of the GeoAPI working group at OGC and the maintainer of the "core" of the Geotoolkit.org project. Years ago I was one of the GeoTools 2 project initiators. In particular, I'm the author of the referencing engine (coordinate transformations). I have also done some contributions to ISO 19111 and ISO 19115 standards, and worked on a units of measurement effort as a JSR process. I attended to 22 OGC meetings since 2002, and still going.

My background is in science (I have a Ph.D. in oceanography). My great hope is to contribute to the development of some toolkits usable by the mass market, but also with sufficient power/quality for being considered by scientists in environmental fields (oceanography, meteorology, etc.). I think it is not incompatible with mass market, but may imply a slightly different philosophy: for me it is more important to get data "right" than to display a beautiful images (while I admit that beautiful images are important).

I would like to propose the GeoAPI project (http://www.geoapi.org/) for consideration by LocationTech. GeoAPI is a set of interfaces derived from OGC/ISO standards. The aim is to provide for geospatial applications what JDBC interfaces provide for database applications: an isolation layer allowing the same applications to run with different libraries. The standardized part of GeoAPI covers metadata (ISO 19115 and its ISO 19115-2 extension) and referencing by coordinates (ISO 19111). Other standard candidates (geometries, feature, etc.) are in the "pending" part of GeoAPI and will change according feedbacks.

GeoAPI also provides a conformance test suite that any implementation can automatically inherit. This test suite has been critical in fixing many bugs in the implementation of the Geotoolkit.org referencing engine. Those tests contain (among others) parts of the Geospatial Integrity of Geoscience Software (http://www.epsg.org/gigs.html) tests, which are created by the maintainers of the EPSG database (the most authoritative freely available source of Coordinate Reference System definitions). We are in touch with the EPSG/GIGS responsible for feedbacks, and also with the maintainers of the OGC CITE tests for collaboration.

GeoAPI governance is ruled by OGC: any OGC member can have vote power. GeoAPI is copyrighted by OGC and licensed under a BSD-like license, except the example code which are placed in the public domain. Example code include (among other) wrappers around the well-known Proj.4 C/C++ library (we contributed JNI code to the Proj.4 project for this purpose). GeoAPI 3.0 is deployed on Maven central. A PDF document explaining its design is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/geoapi

Using this isolation layer, LocationTech could have the choice between (currently) Geotoolkit.org, Proj.4 or the UCAR NetCDF libraries for performing map projections. The Geotoolkit.org project (http://www.geotoolkit.org/) is a GeoAPI 3.x implementation. It features one of the most powerful referencing engine available in open-source. It provides advanced features which are unique to this implementation, like projection derivatives for more accurate envelope projections or Bezier curves calculations. It was also the first implementation featuring "fast raster reprojection" in a FOSS4G benchmarking (this feature has been reproduced in other projects after). Geotk provides also an extensive metadata support (ISO-19115) close to the European regulation (INSPIRE).

Geotoolkit.org is copyrighted jointly by OSGeo and Geomatys. The current license is LGPL but we would like to propose a re-licensing under BSD or similar licence, if OSGeo accepts. We were thinking about such re-licensing since a long time actually.


        Martin Desruisseaux