In search of common ground

The proposed joint program between the OpenGIS Consortium Inc. and the International Alliance for Interoperability aims to make computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and geographic information systems interoperable. Both communities use geospatial information but provide services for very different sets of end users.

The program would first define a common model for overlapping areas of interest and then generate mechanisms for exchanging useful information between them. The understanding is that neither community would need access to every piece of data each generates. Both CADD and GIS tools are used for construction and facilities management, but until recently, users looked at them as separate disciplines calling for little interaction. The push for greater sharing of information — and the belated realization that better analysis would result from this sharing — has increased the need for interoperability. The two groups have been looking for sources of funding, including the government, for pilot projects that would demonstrate the development and feasibility of CADD/GIS interoperability.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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