Making new connections in existing data is a powerful method to gain understanding of the world. Data fusion is not a
new topic, but new approaches provide opportunities to enhance this ubiquitous process. Interoperability based on open
standards is radically changing the classical domains of data fusion while inventing entirely new ways to discern
relationships in data with little structure. Associations based on locations and times are of the most primary type.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) conducted a Fusion Standards study with recommendations implemented in
testbeds. In the context of this study, Data Fusion was defined as: “the act or process of combining or associating data or
information regarding one or more entities considered in an explicit or implicit knowledge framework to improve one’s
capability (or provide a new capability) for detection, identification, or characterization of that entity”.
Three categories were used to organize this study: Observation Fusion, Feature fusion, and Decision fusion. The study
considered classical fusion as exemplified by the JDL and OODA models as well as how fusion is achieved by new
technology such as web-based mash-ups and mobile Internet. The study considers both OGC standards as well open
standards from other standards organizations. These technologies and standards aid in bringing structure to unstructured
data as well as enabling a major new thrust in Decision Fusion.