GeoWorld March 2012

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Open Standards Are Bridging the Indoor/Outdoor Location Divide OPENGEOSPATIAL CONNECTION T BY CARL REED he proliferation of mobile devices and new technologies for determining indoor and outdoor location has produced tremen- dous demand for location applications that operate seamlessly in indoor and outdoor spaces. Such capabilities depend on a platform of international standards that enable encod- ing as well as communicating indoor and outdoor location content. Global Cooperation Indoor and outdoor location data come from many diverse technologies, prod- ucts and communities, so bridging the divide requires the cooperation of many stakehold- ers working in different technology domains. Many elements of an indoor/outdoor-location standards platform are in place, but weaving them together requires a concerted effort involving a variety of standards organizations. For example, ISO TC 211 (geomatics) has a Carl Reed is the executive director of the Standards Program, Open Geospatial Consortium; e-mail: creed@ 30 group working on how to map from one spatial reference system, such as geographics, to another reference system, such as those onboard ships. The Internet Engineering Task Force has defined a range of enhancements to existing standards to encode location as a fundamental information component of the Internet. This is required to obtain and communicate location elements of routers, IP-enabled mobile devices, etc. The buildingSMART Alliance has defined a series of standards for Building Information Models (BIMs), which represent the actual "parts and pieces" of a building, impor- tant for many applications. And in 2008, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) members approved the OGC City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard 1.0. CityGML is a model as well as an encoding standard for the representation, storage and exchange of virtual 3-D city and landscape models. CityGML, which models complex and georefer- enced 3-D vector data along with the associated GEO W ORLD / MA R CH 2O12 semantics, is implemented as an application schema of OGC GML version 3.1.1. In contrast to other 3-D vector formats, CityGML is based on a rich, general- purpose information model in addition to geometry and appearance information. This richness of CityGML and the ability to define extensions to the CityGML model are two of the main reasons the Dutch government specified that the GML and CityGML standards are on the "comply or explain" list of open standards of the Dutch Standardisation Board—all Dutch government organizations must incorporate and implement these standards, where applicable. Getting Inside Although CityGML can be used to model build- ing interiors, it isn't sufficient to meet all the requirements of indoor navigation. To fill this gap, OGC membership recently formed a Stan- dards Working Group to develop a new standard, IndoorGML. From the perspective of IndoorGML, IFCs and CityGML can be considered as important data sources for the interior topography of buildings (and other structures such as tunnels). IndoorGML will provide the essential model and data for important applications such as building evacuation, disaster management, personal indoor navigation, indoor robot navigation, indoor spatial awareness, indoor location-based services, and the tracking of people and goods. IndoorGML will support different travel modes, such as walking, driving and flying. IndoorGML provides a framework for the flexible integration of different localization tech- nologies (e.g., WiFi, RFID, LIDAR, etc.) and allows the ad-hoc selection of appropriate navigation data according to the capabilities of the mobile device and the offered localization technologies of a building. Standards for bridging the indoor/outdoor loca- tion divide are on the critical path to navigation, machine-to-machine communication, smart grids, smart cities, smart buildings, smart pipes, sensor webs, BIM, location marketing and other exciting new domains of economic activity. Success in all these domains depends on the widespread and active collaboration of many different standards- development organizations. If your organization has a stake in these, we encourage you to become involved. Editor's Note: A longer version of this column is online at www.

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