OGC Membership Approves Four Sensor Related OGC Specifications

Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach@opengeospatial.org
Friday, 1 September 2006 UTC
With sensors of all types becoming part of the world's information infrastructure, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. ® (OGC) is pleased to announce that its membership has approved four standards that will allow sensors to better interoperate with the Web and other information technology assets. Common sensors found everyday include imaging cameras traveling on aircraft, "sniffers" that determine pollutions concentration in the air, "listeners" that keep track of noise and temperature sensors that ensure that produce traveling in trucks remains fresh. The OGC has been working for several years to find ways in which these and other sensors can publish information about their existence, report their locations and share their information in a standard way. The vision is to build a Sensor Web, a network of sensors accessible over the Internet to serve scientists and others as they try to better understand our world. The OpenGIS® Sensor Model Language (SensorML) Implementation Specification describes an information model and encodings that enable discovery and tasking of Web-resident sensors, and exploitation of sensor observations. SensorML allows scientists to find and communicate with sensors to assign specific jobs. SensorML is built on XML and can describe any process, including measurement by a sensor system, as well as post-measurement processing. The OpenGIS TransducerML (TML) Implementation Specification is a method and message format for describing information about sensors and actuators (assemblies that make things "go") and capturing, exchanging, and archiving live, historical and future data received and produced by them. TML, also built on XML, provides a mechanism to efficiently and effectively capture, transport and archive transducer data, in a common form, regardless of the original source. The OpenGIS Sensor Observation Service (SOS) Implementation Specification provides access to observations from sensors and sensor systems in a standard way that is consistent for all sensor systems including remote, in-situ, fixed and mobile sensors. It defines an application programming interface (API) for managing deployed sensors and retrieving sensor data. The OpenGIS Sensor Planning Service (SPS) Implementation Specification defines interfaces for requesting information describing the capabilities of a sensor to determine the feasibility of a sensor planning request, for submitting such a request, for inquiring about the status of such a request, for updating or canceling such a request, and for requesting information about further OGC Web services that provide access to the data collected by the requested task. Each of the specification documents provides software engineers the information needed to implement the standards in their programs, be they client applications that request information of a sensor, or those that receive such requests and essentially "tell the sensor what to do." Mark Reichardt, president of OGC, notes the importance of these newly approved specifications. "Sensors are already part of our daily lives; they will no doubt become even more ubiquitous as we try to create a safer, more sustainable world. These four specifications will make using sensors and sharing their important information simpler and quicker. We look forward to seeing them in widespread use in the coming months and years." The OGC Sensor Web efforts benefit from cooperation with the IEEE Technical Committee 9, specifically individuals involved with the1451 family of standards for smart sensors, and the Organization for Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). The OGC standards will be made freely available at the OGC website in the coming weeks. (www.opengeospatial.org) The OGC® is an international industry consortium of more than 320 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location services, and mainstream IT. They empower developers to make complex spatial information and services useful with all kinds of applications. See http://www.opengeospatial.org.