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A protocol for machine-readable cache policies in OGC web services: Application to the EuroGeoSource information system

An efficient access to the contents provided through OGC web services, widely used in environmental information systems , is usually achieved by means of caching strategies. Service-owners may be interested in expressing the conditions required to allow for this. If these conditions are expressed in a machine-readable way, automatic harvesters can be programmed to follow them. This paper proposes a protocol to specify and follow cache policies for OGC web services expressed in a machine-readable language. A preliminary implementation of this protocol has been tested in the EuroGeoSource project, where a number of Web Feature Services providing mineral deposits and energy resources are periodically cached to improve the efficiency and availability of several applications. The protocol addresses a nowadays common case, and can possibly be extended to allow for more detailed policies. Further work will help to determine how it could be integrated into a full Digital Rights Management system. • Caches are used to improve efficiency in the access to certain standard geoservices. • Service owners may express cache policies in natural language or enforce them by DRM. • We propose a protocol based on machine-readable cache policies without DRM. • Our proposal can be fully automated and used as a first step towards DRM if needed. • This approach has been tested in a European project on minerals and energy resources.