We're having a GREAT show down here in San Antonio! Virtual Earth is generating a lot of interest as is Photosynth, SQL Server 2008 and Virtual Earth solutions from Microsoft subsidiary Vexcel and Microsoft partners IDV Solutions, IS Consulting, Thetus, Infusion Development and The Carbon Project. Virtual Earth demos from AGI, ESRI and Metacarta have all also bolstered our presence and generated interest around our exhibition. More on all this to come but right now I want to share an announcement that was made yesterday here at GEOINT: Microsoft has joined the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). This is a significant development for the geo-spatial community as it signals Microsoft's recognition of the importance of industry standards AND it gives Microsoft the opportunity to influence those standards. I expect this to mean great things for Virtual Earth customers.

I am including the full press release here:



Contact: Sam Bacharach

Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption

Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.

Tel: +1-703-352-3938


Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Adds Microsoft as Principal Member

Affirms Commitment to Geospatial Interoperability

Wayland, MA and San Antonio, TX, October 22, 2007 – Today, at the annual GeoInt2007 conference gathering of the leaders in geospatial and intelligence industries, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced that Microsoft Corp. is joining the OGC, marking a major milestone in moving the geospatial industry forward in the areas of interoperability and standards. Government agencies worldwide are realizing the power of geospatial applications to meet their missions in ways that are unprecedented – from public safety applications to famine and hunger relief.

Microsoft is joining OGC as a Principal Member, with the ability to help OGC in its role of shaping the best practices, policies and standards that will govern the world’s important geospatial capabilities and contributions.

“Microsoft joining OGC demonstrates a maturing of the geospatial industry as a whole,” said David Schell, Chairman and CEO of OGC. “Microsoft’s leadership in OGC will significantly impact the government geospatial community and beyond. In an industry that is having such a positive impact on analyzing major global issues -- from climate change to disaster relief and preparedness – it is critical that we take advantage of the deep infrastructure and approach to data usage and integration which Microsoft brings to the table.”

Through its involvement with OGC, Microsoft is ensuring the geospatial interoperability of its technology, including its flagship geospatial offerings -- the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform – and Microsoft SQL Server 2008, which is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of calendar year 2008.. Microsoft will submit the SQL Server 2008 geometry datatype for compliance to the Open Geospatial Simple Features for SQL standard, a significant move towards ensuring that geospatial data can be seamlessly layered upon and integrated within SQL Server 2008. Ensuring that its products are OpenGIS compatible also empowers developers and government customers with an holistic toolset and upon which to build, search and analyze.

“From XML to geo-spatial standards, we believe in the benefits of driving cross-industry standards that contribute to both stronger interoperability and business productivity for all,”** said Erik Jorgensen, general manager of Virtual Earth and Live Search Maps at Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft has long demonstrated both its commitment and leadership in this space and is excited to continue its contribution to the geospatial industry through OGC.”*

About The Open Geospatial Consortium

The OGC® is an international industry consortium of more than 350 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org.

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