Summary of initial responses after delivering the Open Letter about LiDAR standards

Colleagues,

As many of you are aware in April 2015, i send out an email informing colleagues in Academia, Government and Industry who have interest in maintaining Open Standards in LiDAR to respond to the developments [1] and provide inputs.

Thank you for all of you who responded and supported our Open Letter [2] and as the next step of the process on 6th May 2015, i have emailed responsible contacts in the three organisations ASPRS (Stewart Walker), Esri (Jack Dangermond) ,  OGC (Mark Reichardt)  inviting all of them to respond and participate constructively for helping find a solution for this.

Dr. A. Stewart Walker (President of ASPRS) has  confirmed that he has received the e-mail and that ASPRS will discuss this  and will  respond formally in due course. They were holding their annual conference, IGTF 2015, in Tampa, Florida, earlier this month so i understand all key ASPRS people were there face to face to discuss this in detail and find a best way forward.

Mark E. Reichardt (President & CEO of the Open Geospatial Consortium)  has also replied positively and we welcome OGC’s support for geospatial interoperability and standards. Details at http://www.opengeospatial.org/blog/2224

Jack Dangermond (founder and President of Esri) has emailed me assuring thier commitment for interoperability and open standards and to support OGC to organize an open process leading to an open standard for storing LiDAR data [4]. I have replied thanking Jack for responding positively and  inviting thier participation for this. I also recieved email from Esri staff (Keith Ryden) that i replied suggesting that from now he be in direct contact with  Martin Isenburg (author of LASzip and LAStools) and Scott Simmons (OGC) to get thier feedbacks and inputs in  this discussions so that everyone can work together in the common objective of Open Standards in our discipline for the benifit of the wider geo community.

I thank Carl Reed for this sharing his years of experience ( i was not even born when he started his career!)  and wisdom on collaboration and building consensus and i take inspiration from his words. We all have to be patient, listen to all different viewpoints/perspectives and work together, step by step and always keep doors of communication  open so we can bring everyone together for building consensus.

We have achieved two important objectives so far:

1. We were able to educate the wider geo community on this issue and the importance of Open Standards and get strong support from all cross sections. It is a strong message to all that we are watching closely all developments and will take action as and when needed.

2. All key stakeholders are now committed to work together to find a solution for this.

It is important that discussions with all stakeholders start with open mind (OGC, OSGeo, ASPRS, Esri, other properitory GIS vendors, government organisations, LiDAR companies/users etc..) and i request that everyone put forward all the options for discussions and ideas for consensus. If you or your organisation wishes to contribute ideas/viewpoints for this discussion (even if you are not able to participate in the Boulder meeting, your views will help in finding the best solution) please email Scott Simmons (Executive Director, Standards, E-mail – ssimmons at opengeospatial.org ) your ideas/proposals on this before 25th May 2015, so that all proposals/ideas can be looked into and discussed  at the OGC Point Cloud ad-hoc meeting planned at next TC meetings in Boulder, USA (June 1st, 2015).

I now leave this in the safe hands of our OGC colleagues to guide the process forward and i request  everyone to work together step by step for this. It is important to be patient , listen to all viewpoints and slowly build consensus. I hope all stakeholders will work together in the common objective of Open Standards in LiDAR for the benifit of the wider geo community.

I thank all colleagues in GeoforAll, OSGeo, OGC, ASPRS, ISPRS, ICA and wider geocommunity  esp. Martin Isenburg, Cameron Shorter, Patrick Hogan whose efforts made this possible.I once again thank the wider geospatial community for thier attention and support on this important matter.

Best wishes,

Suchith

[1] http://www.osgeo.org/node/1518
[2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/LIDAR_Format_Letter
[3] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2015-May/012814.html
[4] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2015-May/014222.html

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