Esri REST API Could Be an OGC Standard


Confirmation by the OGC on the status of the Esri REST API and the OGC process.

Now I’m sorry if I butchered that name, I don’t recall being briefed on what the API Is called these days. (Seems like REST API for ArcGIS Server would be right) It appears that over last weekend Esri announced that they were “giving” their REST API to OGC as a standard. Big news if you ask me given that the OGC has just never been able to get an OGC REST Standard adopted. Plus it might make more sense given that the Esri REST API is pretty damn awesome and you got to think that the OGC would rather have awesome over a committee standard that no one uses.

One curious outcome of this is that we could now have a JSON standard in OGC, in this case, Esri JSON. GeoJSON, despite the fact that almost everyone uses it, is a community standard (And there isn’t anything wrong with that), not an OGC one (like GeoRSS). If the OGC adopts the Esri JSON standard in the REST API, we could finally have a JSON standard for the INSPIRE project (Does anyone else use OGC on purpose, or is it only by law?) Brian Flood thinks it makes sense and I tend to agree with him.

Bill Dollins isn’t so sure

If this is all going to happen, we’ll see a couple of things come out of this. First, we’ll probably see Geoserver and Mapserver start supporting this standard (Though we’ve seen Esri’s REST API documented for months, no one that I know of has implemented it) which means that Esri Desktop users can add these servers without having to use WMS or WFS. It also may mean that clients such as QGIS, gvSIG, and OpenLayers will have native Esri REST API (And thus Esri ArcGIS for Server) reading.

If OGC was an open organization, we’d probably know more. Heck, something to talk about at the UC next month, right?

Wonder how Esri was able to do this?

Leave a Reply