The annual award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to advancing OGC’s vision of improving access to geospatial or location information, connecting people, communities, and technology to solve global challenges and address everyday needs.

Chris Little was selected as the 2021 winner for his contribution to OGCs standards and leadership efforts that have positively impacted both meteorological and geospatial communities making weather and climate data and maps more widely and readily available combined with traditional geospatial data.

Chris Little said, “I’m honoured to receive this award from the Open Geospatial Consortium. To be recognised in this way is humbling and I can’t thank the people that nominated me enough as well as all the people who work with me.

The Award was developed in memory of Kenneth Gardels, who wanted to make the world a better place through open communication and the use of information technology to improve the quality of human life.

A member of the nominating committee said, “It would be hard to surpass Chris’ longtime contributions both in the meteorology domain and more broadly with issues of temporal interoperability and general conceptual soundness. He is active, tireless, and his recent work championing the OGC API - Environmental Data Retrieval (EDR) is commendable!”

“OGC appreciates Chris’ dedication to the advancement of high-quality standards through his active participation in the OGC Architecture Board (OAB),” commented Jeffrey Harris, OGC Chair. “Chris’ willingness to bring emerging topics of interest to the OAB ensures that OGC is tackling issues of relevance to our members and community in a timely manner.”

Met Office Director of Technology Charles Ewen said, “It is always pleasing to see the hard work and expertise that our people apply to develop international standards recognised.  In this case, Chris represents a cohort of experts that have made significant contributions to the sharing and use of big data and very much deserves this esteemed recognition by the geospatial data community.”

Award nominations for the Gardels Award are made by members – the prior Gardels Award winners – and approved by the OGC board of directors.