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L-12: Introduction into OGC's Sensor Web Enablement

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has developed a set of open standards and schema for geographic interoperability. These web-based standards and schema provide the fundamental building blocks for open spatial data infrastructures.

Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) is an OGC initiative that extends the OGC web services framework by providing additional services for integrating web-connected sensors and sensor systems. SWE services are designed to enable discovery of sensor assets and capabilities, access to these resources through data retrieval and subscription to alerts, and tasking of sensors to control observations.

The SWE initiative has developed draft specifications for modeling sensors and sensor systems (SensorML, TransducerML), observations from such systems (Observations and Measurements) and processing chains to process observations (SensorML). The draft specifications provide semantics for constructing machine-readable descriptions of data, encodings and values, and are designed to improve prospects for plug and play sensors, data fusion, common data processing engines, automated discovery of sensors, and utilization of sensor data.

SWE provides four types of web services, among them the Sensor Observation Service (SOS) and Sensor Planning Service (SPS). The SOS provides a standard interface that allows users to retrieve raw or processed observations from different sensors, sensor systems and observation archives. The SPS provides a standard interface to sensors and sensor systems and is used to coordinate the collection, processing, archiving and distribution of sensor observations.

52°North, an open source initiative with roots in Muenster, Germany, has an exclusive thread dedicated to SWE services and encodings, covering all SWE services as there are SOS, SPS, SAS, and WNS. 52°North participates in integrated research projects funded by the European Commission as part of the 6th framework program. In this workshop, we will provide an overview of OGC.s initiative SWE, discuss the latest developments and look ahead.

The workshop aims at providing an introduction to OGC SWE and to show the open source code developed by 52°North. We will present and demonstrate 52°North implementations and provide our experiences made using SWE services and encodings in a number of projects.

User Level



Ingo Simonis did his master in ecology at the universities of Muenster, Germany and Joensuu, Finland. After his studies, we worked as a research associate and assistant professor at the Institute for Geoinformatics of the University in Muenster. In this time he formed the research group "Sensor Web" which addresses the integration of heterogeneous data into IT-infrastructures in the context of the Sensor Web. From on the beginning, he participated in the initiative Sensor Web Enablement by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). He is currently author of four OGC specifications. After finishing his Ph.D. in early 2006, he spent another year as assistant professor at the University of Muenster, Germany and as research leader at the Meraka Institute in Pretoria, which is part of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research South Africa. In this time, he co-founded the international research platform "Sensor Web Alliance" and the open source initiative "52°North". In 2007, he started with his own company "Geospatial Research & Consulting". He initiated the Sensor Web thread in the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS). He is an active member of the open source initiative 52°North and moderates the Sensor Web thread. Ingo Simonis is involved in a number of research projects in the context of the Sensor Web.