OGC membership approves the OGC API – Environmental Data Retrieval specification as the official OGC standard


OGC API – EDR makes it easy for users to access subsets of spatial “big data” through a unified, well-defined, simple web interface that hides the complexity of data storage.

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September 22, 2021: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is pleased to announce that OGC membership has approved the OGC API – Environmental Data Retrieval (EDR) specification for adoption as the official OGC standard.

OGC API – EDR is the latest standard to join the growing family of OGC API standards. OGC APIs are modern, modular, flexible, simple but powerful “building blocks for location determination” that make it easy for everyone to publish or use geodata on the web that are FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The two main goals in the development of the EDR API were: To make it easier for users and customers to access a wide range of data via a unified, clearly defined and simple web interface; and to provide only the data that is needed by the user or client, while hiding the underlying complexities of modern data storage techniques.

It is important that the data can be clearly specified by their spatial-temporal coordinates – a “where” and a “when”. An exemplary use case is retrieving small subsets of environmental data from much larger collections such as weather forecasts or climate models – although many other types of data can be made available via OGC API – EDR compliant interfaces.

The OGC API – EDR standard provides a family of lightweight query interfaces for accessing spatio-temporal data resources by requesting data at a position, within an area, along a trajectory or through a corridor.

The patterns supported by the query interfaces offer useful building blocks to enable the compilation of APIs that cover a variety of use cases for geospatial data, from the retrieval of real or virtual time series observations to subordinate 4-dimensional data cubes. By defining a small set of query patterns (and it is not necessary to implement all of them), the OGC API – EDR standard helps simplify the design of systems and makes it easy to build a robust and scalable infrastructure that is based on the supported Performance is matched to queries.

OGC API – EDR is not only used to access ‘environmental’ data, but can also support more general spatial-temporal data. The versatility of the API specified by the standard makes it useful for many domains and applications. Exemplary use cases could be:

  • A tower crane operator wants to know the wind speed and direction from now on and for the next 48 hours on a number of levels between the surface and 75 m. Implementations of the OGC API – EDR standard could be used to access the gridded weather forecast dataset and return those values ​​in JSON to their browser.
  • An aviator wants access to all current aerodrome observations of the view in a particular area. Implementations of the OGC API – EDR standard could be used to access a certified METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report) database and return these values ​​without the user having to decipher all of the METAR content.
  • A hydrologist wants to call up both observed and forecast water levels from a network of measuring stations. Implementations of the OGC API – EDR standard could be used to retrieve these values ​​by station name rather than geographic coordinates.
  • A public safety officer wants to know the predicted wind speeds along multiple predicted typhoon tracks or in a corridor around such tracks. Implementations of the OGC API – EDR standard could be used to query several such predictions in turn.
  • Implementations of the OGC API – EDR standard can also be used to access data in non-real coordinate systems, e.g. For example, to get bone density from a 3D MRI scan at a single location or along a track, or to get the color or grayscale value from a location on a digitized slide.

OGC members interested in keeping up to date with the progress of this standard or contributing to its future development are encouraged to Join the Environmental Data Retrieval API SWG via the OGC portal.

Like any OGC standard, the OGC API – Environmental Data Retrieval Standard can be downloaded and implemented free of charge. Interested parties can view and download the standard in OGC API – EDR website.

To learn more about how the family of OGC API standards work together to provide modular “building blocks for positioning” that cover both simple and complex use cases, visit ogcapi.org.

About OGC
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a collective problem-solving community of experts from more than 500 companies, government agencies, research organizations and universities who have set themselves the goal of making spatial (location) information and services FAIR – findable, accessible, interoperable and Reusable.
The global OGC community engages in a mix of activities related to location-based technologies: developing consensus-based open standards and best practices; Collaboration on agile innovation initiatives; Participation in community meetings, events and workshops; and more.
OGC’s unique standard development process moves with the pace of innovation, with constant input from technology predictions, hands-on prototyping, real-world testing and community engagement.
OGC bridges different sectors, domains and technology trends and promotes the cross-fertilization of ideas between different communities of practice to improve decision-making at all levels. OGC is committed to an inclusive and sustainable future.
Visit ogc.org for more information about our work.

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