Chris Holmes
Sep 9 · 4 min read

tl;dr: Signup for the Joint STAC + OGC API Sprint, taking place November 5–7 at the IQT CosmiQ Works office in Arlington, VA. Virtual participants and new community members welcome!

The longer version

The past couple of years has seen some major steps forward on geospatial interoperability. The trend in OGC towards open collaboration, JSON + REST focus, and OpenAPI specs that started with WFS 3 is sweeping through most all the core specifications. They recently held a successful hackathon, which resulted in agreement on the core ‘building blocks’ that form the ‘OGC API,’ with WFS 3 evolving to become the ‘OGC API — Features’ specification. As the core pieces settle, there is still lots of interesting work happening with the spec, in extensions that enable implementors to match the functionality of previous WFS versions, like Filters, advanced Queries, reprojection, transactions and more.

Meanwhile, the last STAC Sprint brought about many API conversations that centered around the same topics. The STAC API conforms with the OGC API — Features specification, and the latest release of the STAC spec aligned with the latest version of their spec. However, STAC API requires more complex queries than exist in the core Features specification, and many STAC community members have implementations that would be exciting extensions for the wider OGC API community.

As the STAC and OGC communities overlap a lot, we got to talking and decided to do another in-person collaboration. We’d joined events before, in Ft. Collins, combining STAC Sprint #2 with the first WFS Hackathon, and saw more alignment along with significant advances in both specifications.

So we are joining forces again! IQT CosmiQ Works, the leading organization that is driving SpaceNet and Solaris, has generously agreed to host the sprint in their Arlington, VA offices (right next to Washington DC). Just like last time, we’ll have three days of sessions, November 5–7. The first day will be focused on STAC, and the second and third days on OGC API’s. The top goal of the sprint is to focus on two OGC API ‘building blocks’ — Query and Filter. The idea of building blocks is that they are reusable components (specified in OpenAPI) that can be reused — not only in OGC specifications, but also in other REST API’s that want to add geospatial interoperability but aren’t ready to adopt the larger specifications.

However, we will likely have several other tracks happening in parallel. Machine Learning with Imagery was a popular topic at the last STAC sprint and is a primary focus of CosmiQ Works, so there will be a track pushing forward the STAC Label extension and talking about other aspects of interoperability. OGC API — Catalogues (CAT4.0) will also likely be a topic, as it is the other major user of Query, and sits right between STAC and OGC API — Features.

As these sprints have evolved, however, they are less and less focused on just the core specifications. We’ve been working on ways to welcome new collaborators, with tracks centered around learning the specs and then contributing to the ecosystem by helping to create outreach and documentation materials or improving open software or datasets. We will have a robust implementation and testing component for people who want to come and make sure the software they’re building is successfully interoperating with others.

The venue has limited space, and we like to keep these events a bit more intimate than a large conference, so please apply online to attend in person. That said, we’ve been getting better at facilitating remote participation, and this venue is well set up for virtual collaboration. Thus, those who aren’t able to attend person are strongly encouraged to participate remotely. Everyone interested in participating should apply online and specify if you’d like to attend in person, and/or if you could participate remotely. Our goal is to welcome a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, so please apply even if you’re not active in the OGC or STAC communities.

We’ll also soon have a sponsorship prospectus out, and hope that you’ll consider sponsoring so we can fund the travel of key participants.

Radiant Earth Insights

Helping the global development community navigate the Earth observation marketplace and geospatial technology innovations.

Chris Holmes

Written by

Product Architect @ Planet, Board Member @ Open Geospatial Consortium, Technical Fellow @ Radiant.Earth

Radiant Earth Insights

Helping the global development community navigate the Earth observation marketplace and geospatial technology innovations.

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