Last week I attended a workshop organised by the Austrian research centres on behalf of the SANY consortium at the Austria's national weather service agency (ZAMG) in Vienna.
OpenGIS® Standards and Specifications are technical documents that detail interfaces or encodings. Software developers use these documents to build support for the interfaces or encodings into their products and services. These specifications are the main "products" of the Open Geospatial Consortium and have been developed by the membership to address specific interoperability challenges. Ideally, when specifications are implemented by two different software engineers working independently, the resulting components plug and play, that is they work together without further debugging.
In an Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) initiative called Sensor Web Enablement (SWE), members of the OGC are building a unique and revolutionary framework of open standards for exploiting Web-connected sensors and sensor systems of all types: flood gauges, air pollution monitors, stress gauges on bridges, mobile heart monitors, Webcams, satellite-borne earth imaging devices and countless other sensors and sensor systems.
The models, encodings, and services of the SWE architecture enable implementation of interoperable and scalable service-oriented networks of heterogeneous sensor systems and client applications. In much the same way that Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) standards enabled the exchange of any type of information on the Web,the OGC’s SWE initiative is focused on developing standards to enable the discovery, exchange, and processing of sensor observations, as well as the tasking of sensor systems. The functionality that OCG has targeted within a sensor web includes:
- Discovery of sensor systems, observations, and observation processes that meet an application’s or user’s immediate needs;
- Determination of a sensor’s capabilities and quality of measurements;
- Access to sensor parameters that automatically allow software to process and geo-locate observations;
- Retrieval of real-time or time-series observations and coverages in standard encodings
- Tasking of sensors to acquire observations of interest;
- Subscription to and publishing of alerts to be issued by sensors or sensor services based upon certain criteria.
Above is a very brief introduction to OGC and SWE derived from Opengeospatial website.
SANY-IP has developed a Sensor Service Architecture (SensorSA) with OGC SWE services used within which allows building of complete Environmental Monitoring Networks (EMNs) from standard-compliant components.
The intention of the workshop was to teach the participants which SensorSA-compliant software components are available, and how to configure and deploy them. This is part of the research in my PhD studies which will later be required for further implementation.
During the workshop I met many scientists and researchers using OGC's SWE for different European projects with various applications aimed at monitoring water quality and level, Earthquake, Weather, fire and etc.