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

OGC agrees on approving SOS 2.0 as a new standard!

March 28th, 2012 @ 10:23 by Arne Bröring
Posted in Sensor Web
We, the editorial team of the SOS 2.0 (Christoph Stasch, Johannes Echterhoff, and myself), are very happy to announce that the members of the OGC Technical Committee have finalized their voting on the SOS 2.0 specification, and formally agreed on approving the SOS 2.0 as an OGC standard!
The work on the SOS 2.0 specification started in December 2008, and since then we had many fruitful discussions and received valuable comments. The requirements from SOS users were directly fed into those discussions – hence, we like to thank the users of the 52°North SOS implementation whose comments were considered to improve the specification.
At 52°North, we have already a prototype of the new SOS 2.0 specification in place, as part of the general 52°North SOS implementation. Having the official approval from OGC received, we will now continue to work on the SOS 2.0 implementation.
We will keep you updated on the progress!

flying discs @ 52°North

March 26th, 2012 @ 09:34 by Ann Hitchcock
Posted in Communities

On a chilly friday in January, 52°North bundled up to take on a new challenge – Disc Golf.  For 3 hours 52Ners and guests braved the cold and tested their frisbee skills, seeing who could throw a “frisbee” disc into a basket with the least number of throws. Martin Reckmann from DJK Grün-Weiß Marathon in Münster instructed the first time players in the rules and techniques of the game, which is similar to golf. He also prepared a challenging course through bushes, trees, sculptures, over small bodies of water and swampy areas. Marcus Wissing (con terra) needed only 24 throws to complete the 5 target course and win the tournament! Refreshments helped warm chilled fingers and toes.

It’s fun to explore new horizons! We look forward to the next frisbee challenge on April 20th.

Martin Reckmann demonstrates throwing techniques.

Conny works her way around bothersome obstacles…



Refreshments after hard work!

What to expect of Ilwis 3.8

March 26th, 2012 @ 08:04 by Martin Schouwenburg
Posted in ILWIS

Though Ilwis 3.8 is still some 3 weeks away it seems appropriate to recapitulate what can be expected of 3.8. This blog entry will not be a detailed description, that will come with the readme of 3.8. It is a relatively big release and if not for (internal) political reasons (don’t ask :p) I would have called it 4.0 or something.

The main reason why 3.8 is made is of course the updated graphics but there many other changes/extensions that also improve the software. The changes fall into the following categories.

  • Update graphics system. The whole system of how Ilwis draws maps has been rewritten. Nothing remains of the old system. With this comes an extensive system of options how to manage the visualization and tune it for visual analysis. Animations and 3D have become equal partners with the regular 2D visualizations in terms of functionality and ease of use.
  • As a consequence of the above the old display options form has disappeared and the whole set of options are now controlled by the layer tree on the left side of the mapwindow.
  • The MapWindow gained its own commandline with which maps can be calculated and directly added to the mapwindow.
  • A set of basemaps has been added that act like a kind of system objects(maps) and can be used everywhere as extra layers in a mapwindow.
  • The old pixelinfo is now a regular part of the mapwindow
  • New applications. A set of applications, mainly aimed at maplists in some form has been added. Because Animations have become more important the need for some operations that worked on whole maplists (apart from what can be done through MaplsitApplication) has increased.
  • Translation system has been revamped and a spanish translation has been added.
  • A webserver system has been added and ilwis can now function as wps server.
  • The whole help system has moved to a set of html files that can be freely changed. Internally they were already html files but because they were bundled in the microsoft help format they were dificult to edit.
  • The old layout system has been removed. Printing is now done by a WYSIWYG copy/paste into an appropriate program that you can use for printing.
  • The Time domain has been added to Ilwis ( basically a date-time).In Ilwis it is now possible to define time in a correct way.
  • The operation list of the catalog has been extended with a finder option to filter quickly through the long list of applications that ilwis has.
  • Updated SEBS module.

Note that many of these changes are described in detail in a number of blog entries that I have produced since September 2011 on the 52n web site.

There are also a few things that have not(yet) been done and will have to wait until the 3.8.1. I could have waited with the 3.8 until these things were also finished but it is for me not practical to delay the 3.8 further. So what is missing?

  • Polygon editor. I have now the technology to make a full fledged polygon editor but it is quite a time consuming task to make this good enough. So I postponed it.
  • Sample set editor. I have version but that is not very stable nor very good. So I must revisit this for after the 3.8

As far as I know these are the only things that are missing.


There are few consequences to all these changes.

  • The help files with respect to the mapwindow are not correct anymore. I don’t have the time nor talent to update these files.
  • Newer applications don’t have help. This is a bit annoying as it may not always be obvious how an application works.
  • Ilwis now needs graphics board/chip with at least 128 mb of graphics memory. This is a consequence of using OpenGL has graphics engine and because we wanted high performance graphics. As far as I know this mainly impact animations and 3D which heavily rely on the graphics memory. More memory enables to use of bigger data sets in these cases.

So that is it. It took longer than I hoped ( as always 🙂 ) but I did include more than I originally planned. Together with my coleague Bas Retsios (who did invaluable work on the raster engine) I think we can be satisfied with the result. If there are no further hickups you will be able to see the final result on april the 17 th. regards,

Martin Schouwenburg


52°North seeks student applications for the Google Summer of Code

52°North is thrilled to announce that it has been chosen to be a mentoring organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC)!  GSoC is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. Google pays the stipend recipient $ 5.000,- for 3 months of software development for 52°North this summer. A mentor from a 52°North partner organization supervises the student during this period.

As such, we now look for students who are interested in writing code for various 52°North projects. The overall goals are to improve usability of products and to extend the user base to new domains.

If you are interested in writing code for software developed by the 52°North communities, please have a look at Student Application opens on March 26, 2012 at 19:00 UTC. The deadline is April 6, 2012 at 19:00 UTC.

This summer, flip bits not burgers with 52°North!

Any questions? Please contact Daniel Nüst ( or join us at ** *#52north*.

52°North @ Firmenlauf

March 12th, 2012 @ 17:15 by Ann Hitchcock
Posted in 52°North, Communities

In spite of the dampness and cool temperatures, it was actually great running weather for “11th Active Sportshop Firmenlauf” this past Saturday. 52°North showed up with 3 teams for the 5k race. Once again we had some great results! Team 2 came in nineth (or tenth) overall, Team 1 came in 6th among the Women’s Teams and Team 3 finished with an honorable 48th place among the Mixed Teams (see results below)! Congrats to all!!!

Team 52°North GmbH 2 with total time of 1:04:10

Name Time Place Place AK AK
JanSch 19:34  21  2 M30
Daniel 19:55  30  9 MHK
Henning 24:41  263  29 M30

Team 52°North GmbH 1 with total time of 1:20:35

Name Time Place Place AK AK
Silke 25:07 27 3 W45
Ann 25:50 39 8 W45
Conny 29:38 130 22 W30

Team 52°North GmbH 3 with total time of 1:23:22

Name Time Place Place AK AK
Bastian 24:10 225 26 M30
Arne (HB2) 24:42 264 30 M30
Merret 34:30 209 60 WHK

The happy 52°North crowd!

Firmenlauf 2012

Conny at the start! Go Conny, go!!!

Daniel sprinting to the finish line!! Yeah!

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