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ZOO PROJECT: THE POWERFUL WPS PLATFORM
The ZOO Project was founded in late 2008 in order to propose a technical solution to the online geoprocessing needs encountered by many OSGeo developers and users. The ZOO plateform's main goal is to provide a standardised OSGeo ecosystem by using existing stable librairies and handling/chaining them thanks to an innovative implementation of the OGC WPS standard.
The ZOO Platform is based on a « WPS Service Kernel » which constitutes the ZOO's core system (ZOO Kernel). The latter is able to load dynamic librairies and to handle them as on-demand webservices. The ZOO Kernel is written in C language, but supports several common programming languages in order to stay opened to numerous librairies and above all to simplify the webservice end-developer's job.
A ZOO service must be understood as a couple composed by a metadata file and the code for the corresponding implementation. The metadata file (.zcfg) describes all the functions which have to be callable using a WPS Execute Request, as well as the wanted input/output. Services can now be implemented in C/C++, Java, Fortran, Python, and contain the algorithms and functions of the service. ZOO Services developers are thus able to easily implement their services using their favorite langages without having to struggle with input/output formats or storing results, as this is done directly by the ZOO Kernel.
The ZOO Kernel was released on April 2010 under the MIT/X-11 open source license. It will provides the ZOO kernel source code and some example services based on well-known existing librairies such as GDAL/OGR, and CGAL. Using the WPS standard massively, the ZOO Project already provides a standardized method to create and use web processing services, and allows to implement complex GIS-based algorithms into the traditional web GIS clients.
Gérald Fenoy - GeoLabs SARL
Nicolas Bozon - 3LIZ SARL
Venkatesh Raghavan - OCU