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Carl Reed


Dr. Carl Reed, the CTO and Executive Director of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Standards program, is a recognized geospatial technology visionary and evangelist. He is a leading advocate for the development and use of geospatial standards that enable the effective use of geospatial content and services anytime, anywhere. Reed has been a geoprofessional for 40 years.

Carl began his GIS career in 1969 while in university, programming an interactive GIS application for mapping meteorological observations. This application is arguably one of the first interactive mapping applications. In 1977 and 1978, he designed and programmed the Map Overlay and Statistical System (MOSS). MOSS was the first fully interactive, vector based GIS. By the early 1980s, MOSS was in use by dozens of Federal, state, and local agencies. MOSS was also the first open source GIS activity, predating GRASS by several years. Dr. Reed received his PhD in Geography, specializing in GIS technology and systems architectures, from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1980.

In 1985, Reed led the GenaMap design and development team. GenaMap (originally DeltaMap) was the first commercial UNIX based GIS product. GenaMap had a number of technical firsts, such as the use of R-Trees for spatial indexing, continuous processing of tiled geographic databases, integrated vector raster processing, and on the fly projection and units transformation. GenaMap still exists and is used heavily in the location services industry.

In late 1987, at the request of David Schell, Reed led a project to demonstrate that seamless interoperability could be achieved between two disparate geospatial systems: GenaMap and GRASS integrated capability. This project convinced Schell that geospatial interoperability could happen. This work was a key factor in his decision to start the OpenGIS Consortium (now the Open Geospatial Consortium). Dr. Reed has worked on geospatial standards since 1994. Early on, he recognized that in order for the geospatial community to grow and prosper, the community needed standards that enabled interoperability and broke down proprietary silos of data ownership. In 1997, along with Allen Doyle, Reed convinced the OGC membership to focus their standards work on loosely coupled Web services standards.

Reed joined OGC staff in 2001. Since then, he has contributed to numerous international standards, including not only those of the OGC, but other e-business and Internet standards as well. To insure harmonization of geospatial standards across information communities, he actively participates in and collaborates with other standards organizations, including OASIS, NENA, ISO, W3C and the IETF. Reed was one of the original developers of GeoRSS. Currently, Reed is an active participant in the NENA Next Generation 9-1-1 activity. Reed has contributed to numerous geo standards, including the OASIS Common Alert Protocol (CAP), the location extension for DHCP, the OGC Web Map Feature Interface Standard, KML 2.2, GeoRSS, and the Mobile Location Platform API. Reed currently participates in numerous editorial and advisory boards, including the GeoWeb 2009 planning committee, is the OGC alternate to the GSDI Board of Directors, and is working on numerous book chapters.

In recognition of his contribution to the GIS industry, in 1996, Reed was voted by his peers as one of the top ten most influential people in the GIS industry.

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