Sensor data has become an important source of information for many applications. Sensors deliver near real-time, as well as, archived data sets, which are relevant for a broad range of thematic domains (e.g. air quality, noise, hydrology, smart cities, traffic, oceanography, disaster management, etc.). Thus, the need for sharing and exchanging sensor data is a highly relevant requirement for many stakeholders from science, administration and private companies.
Considering the high relevance of sensor observations, sensor data sets are relevant to several of the INSPIRE Annex III themes (e.g. Environmental Monitoring Facilities, Atmospheric Conditions, Oceanographic Geographical Features). The OGC Sensor Observation Service (SOS) offers a dedicated Web Service interface specification, which provides the necessary functionality to share such sensor observation data. The SOS standard has therefore been proposed as the basis for extending the INSPIRE Technical Guidelines for Download Services for observation data.
However, there are a number of aspects which need to be addressed to make the SOS fully INSPIRE compliant: INSPIRE requires additional functionality, which goes beyond the SOS standard. This includes, for example, the support of natural language selection or CRS transformation. Thus, enhancements of the SOS specification are necessary.
To formally define these enhancements, the INSPIRE Technical Guidelines for Download Services would need to be extended with SOS specific extensions. To verify the proposed enhancements of the Technical Guidance and to offer an implementation that can be used by interested parties, the specification should be accompanied by an open source implementation.
To tackle this need, 52°North has been contracted by the JRC in the context of the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) programme to contribute to the proposal of an update of the Technical Guidelines for INSPIRE Download Services including the OGC SOS. The proposed update of the Technical Guidance document will be discussed with Member States and thematic experts within the INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Framework. In parallel, 52° North will enhance its 4.x SOS implementation in the context of this project to become compliant with the proposed updated Technical Guidelines.
As a result of the project, not only a proposal how to update the Technical Guideline for INSPIRE Download Services based on the OGC SOS will be developed, but also an open source implementation of the SOS and an example instance with example sensor observation data will be made available.
This implementation will not only become a tool for data providers to offer their data in an INSPIRE compliant way. It will allow the exchange of any kind of observation data in an interoperable manner across political, administrative and organizational boundaries even going beyond the requirements of INSPIRE. Consequently application domains such as hydrology, air quality, noise, meteorology, oceanography will benefit from the developments performed in this project.