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December 14, 2020
Charles Heazel receives OGC’s 2020 Gardels Award

At the December Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Member Meeting, held virtually, Charles “Chuck” Heazel was presented 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.

The virtual award ceremony was recorded and is available to view on YouTube: 2020 OGC Awards Ceremony video.

Chuck Heazel was selected because of his broad work in building consensus on standardization approaches by working on multiple efforts with deep technical expertise and excellent coordination amongst stakeholders. A member of the nominating committee noted that Chuck was “clearly at the top of the list on the basis of his contributions and particularly recent hard work and clear thinking on APIs.” Chuck has shown particular skill in understanding Standards requirements and developing clear, concise documentation of the content, such as for GeoTIFF, CityGML 3.0, and OGC API – Common.

“OGC values Chuck’s dedication to the advancement of high-quality Standards through his active technical leadership in the OGC Architecture Board (OAB) helping to drive the Web API Guidelines,” commented Jeffrey Harris, OGC Chair. “The OGC APIs are amongst the most important work to empower location interoperability and Chuck’s ability to align parties to enable the right building blocks to empower market-ready Standards is key to the progression of that effort.”

Chuck has demonstrated the true spirit of OGC by dedicating his time and effort to co-chair the OGC API – Common Standards Working Group and the CITE Subcommittee. Further, Chuck has been a critical liaison between OGC activities and the defense and intelligence community, bringing complex requirements and solutions to OGC Innovation and Standardization initiatives. Chuck’s technical expertise, understanding of the specific needs of many domains, and concern with ensuring that interoperability can be fully realized, exemplify the values associated with the Gardels Award.

In all this work, Chuck has demonstrated the principles, humility, and dedication in promoting spatial technologies to address the needs of humanity that characterized Kenn Gardels’ career and life. Chuck exemplifies the highest values of OGC.

The virtual award ceremony was recorded and is available to view on YouTube: 2020 OGC Awards Ceremony video.


About the OGC Gardel’s 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.

About OGC

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 500 businesses, government agencies, research organizations, and universities driven to make geospatial (location) information and services FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

OGC’s member-driven consensus process creates royalty free, publicly available geospatial standards. Existing at the cutting edge, OGC actively analyzes and anticipates emerging tech trends, and runs an agile, collaborative Research and Development (R&D) lab that builds and tests innovative prototype solutions to members’ use cases.

OGC members together form a global forum of experts and communities that use location to connect people with technology and improve decision-making at all levels. OGC is committed to creating a sustainable future for us, our children, and future generations.

Visit for more info on our work.

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