On April 25, with the help of 47 contributors and 2,790 commits, the STAC API specification reached its 1.0.0 version release. With this release, the STAC API specification is fully aligned with OGC API - Features Version 1.0 standard and the project aims to maintain alignment with OGC standards as they mature.
Reaching this point merits a quick look at the beginning of the project, which was started on 12 May 2017 with a brief readme file created by Chris Holmes:
This repository aims to standardize API components to search for remotely-sensed imagery. A number of software and data providers have been creating RESTful JSON-based image catalogs. These end up all looking fairly similar, but are still different enough that each needs custom-coded client libraries. A set of standardized API’s should increase interoperability, enabling more catalog clients and cross-catalog searching.
Anyone building software that catalogs imagery is welcome to collaborate. Our goal is to be a collaboration of developers, not architecture astronauts. The first step to join the collaboration is to add a folder to the ‘implementations’ folder with an OpenAPI Spec (v2.0) of your implementation, along with markdown document describing your implementation.
A first meeting (ideally in person) among those with implementations who are interested in standardizing will kick off a first version of specification, with each group iterating on their version of that common standard. From there the spec(s) will evolve according to open source principles, using github as the primary tooling (pull requests and reviews for all changes, etc).
The concept for STAC and the STAC API emerged from a clear need faced by many members of our community, and the community-led and open approach has worked well over the past five years. From Planet’s State of STAC report from August 2022:
We gathered statistics on over 550 million assets referenced by those items. About 97% of the collections were from static catalogs, while over 99% of the items and assets came from STAC API implementations.
The STAC API specification will continue to evolve in collaboration with the broad geospatial community, maintaining alignment with OGC standards. To get involved, please join our newly formed STAC community Google Group where you can be notified about biweekly meetings, important updates, and other event information related to STAC.
A current priority for the STAC community is to achieve 1.0.0 release status for STAC API Extensions. During the STAC Working Session held on 6 June 2023, community members discussed the maturity of STAC API Extensions and the necessary steps to achieve version 1.0.0 for each of them. A comprehensive overview of the current statuses of these extensions can be accessed at stac-api-extensions.github.io. At the time of writing this blog post, none of the extensions have reached the 1.0.0 milestone yet. However, no significant changes are expected for the Fields, Sort, Transaction, Filter, and Query extensions, and they are anticipated to attain the 1.0.0 status in the near future.