The Open Geospatial Consortium has released its Discrete global grid system (DGGS), designed to enable the rapid assembly of spatial data ‘without the difficulties of working with projected coordinate reference systems.’ DGGSs represent the Earth as hierarchy of equal area tessellations, each with global coverage and with progressively finer spatial resolution. Spatial observations can be assigned to a cell that corresponds to both the position and size of the phenomenon being observed. DGGS also provides algorithms for data analysis of very large numbers of cells and is claimed to adapt well to parallel processing.
Stuart Minchin of Geoscience Australia said, ‘DGGS provides a capability to integrate global geospatial, social, and economic information. Communities with data from different geographies can integrate information into a single consistent framework.’ DGGS enable the harmonization of raster, vector and point cloud data, overcoming the ‘raster-vector divide’ of traditional GIS and the pitfalls of multiple projections. Perry Peterson co-chair of the DGGS standards group added ‘Assembling the array of available spatial data so that it makes sense is currently a challenge that requires an expert. DGGS offers a solution.’
DGGS promises open standards-based geospatial data fusion on demand. The specification provides a platform for interoperability across different implementations, ‘promoting reusability, knowledge exchange and choice in the design of individual implementations.’
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