Dr Gobe Hobona: Geospatial Interoperability: A Catalyst for Future Innovation

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Every organisation encounters the dilemma of whether to invest in research and innovation at some point in time. That dilemma is caused, in some cases, by the fact that it may take years to turn an idea into profit. Further, the impact or success of an innovation is seldom apparent until far into its development. This dilemma can be seen in the uptake of the three aspects of open innovation namely open source software, open data and open standards. Unlike in historic times, many commercial geospatial technology providers now participate in open source software development, seeing it as a research and development activity. Similarly, many authoritative data providers now offer some of their data under an open licence. Furthermore, many geospatial technology providers offer standards-based interfaces into their products to enable integration of their products with third-party software. This presentation will explore the relationship between open source software, open data and open standards, as well as how geospatial interoperability acts as a catalyst for innovation in each. Focusing on open standards, the presentation will describe how the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) monitors technology trends and how it uses the insight gained from analysing the technology trends to guide its future research and innovation.

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