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Sunday, February 24, 2008

OpenGIS Web Processing Service (WPS) Interface Standard Version 1.0

OGC announced that members of the Open Geospatial Consortium have
approved version 1.0 of the OpenGIS Web Processing Service (WPS)
Interface Standard. The WPS standard defines an interface that
facilitates the publishing of geospatial processes and makes it easier
to write software clients that can discover and bind to those processes.
Processes include any algorithm, calculation or model that operates on
spatially referenced raster or vector data. Publishing means making
available machine-readable binding information as well as human-readable
metadata that allows service discovery and use. A WPS can be used to
define calculations as simple as subtracting one set of spatially
referenced data from another (e.g., determining the difference in
influenza cases between two different seasons), or as complicated as a
hydrological model. The data required by the WPS can be delivered across
a network or it can be made available at the server. This interface
specification provides mechanisms to identify the spatially referenced
data required by the calculation, initiate the calculation, and manage
the output from the calculation so that the client can access it. The
OGC's WPS standard will play an important role in automating workflows
that involve geospatial data and geoprocessing services. The specification
identifies a generic mechanism to describe the data inputs required and
produced by a process. This data can be delivered across the network, or
available at the server. This data can include image data formats such
as GeoTIFF, or data exchange standards such as Geography Markup Language
(GML). Data inputs can be legitimate calls to OGC web services. For
example, a data input for an intersection operation could be a polygon
delivered in response to a WFS request, in which case the WPS data input
would be the WFS query string.

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