Sensor Web, Geoprocessing, Security & GeoRM, Geostatistics, Semantics, 3D, Ilwis, Earth Observation

WPS and Artifical Neuronal Networks

December 20th, 2010 @ 14:22 by Bastian Schäffer,
Posted in 52°North, Communities, Geoprocessing

We often get asked about why our WPS can’t a show how long a process would take. This task is not trivial, in fact it is quite challenging to determine in advance or at runtime how long a specific process will take. Many factors have to be taken into account such as the server load, the process itself, the inputdata etc.

One idea would be to utilize Artifical Neuronal Networks (ANN) to train a WPS. This might be a good starting point for a M. Sc. thesis. If you are interested in this topic, please contact Bastian Schäffer b.schaeffer A/T

Demonstrated True Plug & Play of Marine Sensors @ ESONET Workshop

December 15th, 2010 @ 11:06 by Arne Bröring
Posted in Sensor Web

Monday and Tuesday, Arne attended the ESONET workhop in Marseille. Together with Dan Toma, Joaquin del Rio (both from SARTI) and Tom O’Reilly (from MBARI), we gave a demo to show the interplay of the PUCK protocol and our Sensor Interface Descriptors (SID) to establish a plug and play of sensors.

PUCK can be considered as an extension to a sensor’s firmware by adding some basic commands to the sensor protocol to allow the retrieval of the PUCK payload which contains the description of the sensor. In our case, this description is the SID of the sensor. Tom, the editor of the PUCK specification, has handed in the PUCK specification to OGC’s standardization process and we can expect to have an official PUCK standard by mid of 2011. Dan and Joaquin developed software, which runs on the PC connected to the sensor, to automatically discover a PUCK enabled sensor as soon as it is plugged in to the PC. This is done by scanning the serial ports of the PC. Then, the software is capable of extracting the sensor description out of the PUCK payload.
At that point, our SID interpreter is triggered by handing over the extracted sensor description, the SID, and starting the process of translating between sensor protocol and SWE protocol (i.e. O&M is inserted to an SOS via InsertObservation calls).

At the ESONET General Assembly meeting, we demonstrated this complete process of sensor plug & play with two marine sensors (see picture below): a WETlabs Triplet measuring fluorescence (can be used e.g. to detect oil in the water), and a Seabird CTD measuring conductivity, salinity and temperature. For both sensors the demo went well and we received positive response from the audience, people who actually have to manage observatories utilizing those kinds of sensors.

Another very interesting talk, was the presentation of Eric Delory who showed a neat browser-based client for the detailed description of sensor metadata (ranging from serial number to calibration history). This metadata can be provided through a simple Web form and is serialized in SensorML. By looking at our SID creator wizard, it would be perfect to combine these two clients to have both, the detailed metadata description as well as the detailed interface description, in one application. Let’s see if we can work on this together…

Sensor Interface Descriptors @ PESOS Workshop

December 6th, 2010 @ 12:47 by Arne Bröring
Posted in Sensor Web

Last Monday, Arne went to Hamburg to attend the 2nd PESOS workshop and gave a talk about our Sensor Interface Descriptor (SID) developments. The workshop participants were primarily sensor technology manufacturers and vendors as well as researchers from that domain. The workshop aimed at initializing a discussion of how SID can be reasonably combined with other standards such as IEEE 1451 and the emerging PUCK protocol. The overall goal for the participants is to elaborate a concept for plug & play of marine sensors. The figure below sketches how the 3 discussed technologies could work together to enable an on the fly integration of sensors with the Sensor Web.

Please also have a look at the slides below which give a good overview of the SID concept.


December 2nd, 2010 @ 09:27 by Bastian Schäffer,
Posted in Communities

Our Experiments with GRASS and WPS are going well.

As a little Christmas gift, we will prepare a new Release (52n WPS 2.0 RC-6) before Christmas.

It will contain a connector to GRASS which allows the out-of-the-box use of GRASS Functions as WPS Processes. No programming will be needed.


this is an information that an WPS 2.0-RC6 Release will come before
It will mainly contain a connection to GRASS in an out-of-the-box way. A
subset of GRASS Processes will then be available as WPS Processes
without any programming needed.

Bastian Schäffer

Continuous Integration

November 25th, 2010 @ 14:20 by Bastian Schäffer,
Posted in 52°North, Geoprocessing

Since the 52°North WPS Project is getting bigger and bigger, a continuous integration mechanism was added.

Whenever a new line of code is added to the repository or an old one is modified, the whole project is automatically compiled. Besides, the project is also build on a regular basis every night.

The results are directly send to the commits-mailinglist.

Visual results can be found here.

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