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WMS Tiling, or why OSGeo is not a standards body

Posted by jive on November 2, 2006 at 12:11 PM PST

At the FOSS4G conference I was charmed to see a bunch of cross project hacking ... in the form of a meeting about "Tiling".

The result of this meeting is just now been made available:

The origional that I linked to earlier is here: Tile Map Service Specification (thanks to Schyler for the correction).

While this is an exciting concept, the excitement has spread to the media - in this case Directions Magazine: OSGeo Offers Up a Tiling Specification

The article explores the idea of OSGeo as a standards body, and I thought I may offer a clarification in this specific instance.

The tiling "specification" is currently a bunch of hackers bashing away at the problem. Standardization comes later, the document will be submitted to the OGC where I imagine it will be treated as an extension to WMS (much like the SLD specification).

It should be noted that this has been done carefully at a technical level, the requests made conform to the WMS specification. It was very tempting to do something closer to nasa worldwind where tiles are asked for row/col.

I always respect a standard that is backed by an implementation, more so when several implementations are available. The fact that OSGeo plays hosts to open source projects, that by definition need to work together, provide a great environment for collaboration in this manner.

This is the same approach used by the OGC for their interoptability experiments. Please view this tiling experiment in the same manner, the documents are not offical but we may learn enough to inform a standard.

Aside: The OGC does provide a nice venue for "Open standards"; personally I find their direct use of ISO standards is starting to "close" the door. A house with an open door, does no good if the front gate is locked.

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