Last night, at the September meeting of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee in Stuttgart, Germany, Joan Masó received the OGC’s prestigious Kenneth D. Gardels Award. The Gardels Award is presented each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing OGC’s vision of fully integrating geospatial information into the world’s information systems.
Joan Masó, from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (CREAF), was awarded for being ‘the hardest working OGC member out there.’ Joan chairs several working groups, is very active in the OGC Innovation Program, and always provides high-quality results across his work. His work on the Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) standard has proved invaluable, as this standard is one of the most widely adopted standards in the geospatial community.
Joan currently chairs or co-chairs four Domain Working Groups, three Standards Working Groups, and the Iberian and Latin American Forum. Given that OGC members participate on a voluntary basis, Joan shows unprecedented energy in contributing to the goals of the Consortium.
In addition to chairing several Working Groups, Joan was elected by the OGC membership to become a member of the OGC Architecture Board (OAB), in order to ensure that OGC standards remain of the high quality and interoperable consistency as desired by the membership. OAB duties also include assessing emerging trends in technology and business practices to assist in aligning OGC efforts with the direction in which the industry is moving.
In all this work, Joan has demonstrated the principles, humility, and dedication in promoting spatial technologies to address the needs of humanity that characterized Kenn Gardels’ career and life. Joan exemplifies the highest values of the OGC.
Mark Reichardt, President and CEO of OGC, commented: “Each year, one member representative of the Consortium is acknowledged by his or her peers and the OGC Board of Directors for their personal excellence, unwavering commitment, and substantial contributions to the OGC mission. Congratulations to Joan Maso on his selection for this award. Kenn would be proud.”
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 525 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that ‘geo-enable’ the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful within any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org.
About the Gardels Award
The Kenneth D. Gardels award is a gold medallion presented each year by the Board of Directors of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) to an individual who has made exemplary contributions to the OGC’s consensus standards process. Award nominations are made by members – the prior Gardels Award winners – and approved by the Board of Directors. The Gardels Award was conceived to memorialize the spirit of a man who dreamt passionately of making the world a better place through open communication and the use of information technology to improve the quality of human life.
Kenneth Gardels, a founding member and a director of the OGC, coined the phrase “Open GIS”. Kenn died of cancer in 1999 at the age of 44. He was active in popularizing the open source Geographic Information System (GIS) ‘GRASS’, and was a key figure in the Internet community of people who used and developed that software. Kenn was well known in the field of GIS and was involved over the years in many programs related to GIS and the environment. He was a respected GIS consultant to the State of California and to local and federal agencies, and frequently attended GIS conferences around the world.
Kenn is remembered for his principles, courage, and humility, and for his accomplishments in promoting spatial technologies as tools for preserving the environment and serving human needs.