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A Lightweight Approach for the Sensor Observation Service to Share Environmental Data across Europe


Simon Jirka, 52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH, Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24, Münster, 48155, Germany. E-mail:


The importance of near real-time access to environmental data has increased steadily over the last few years. In this article, the focus is on the European Environment Agency (EEA), which receives environmental data from a large number of providers. The heterogeneous data formats and data transfer mechanisms make the data collection and integration a difficult task for the EEA. An approach is needed for facilitating the interoperable exchange of environmental data on a large scale. A core element of this approach is the Sensor WebEnablement (SWE) technology of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) which allows the standardized, interoperable, vendor and domain independent exchange of sensor data. The main contribution of this article is a lightweight profile for the OGC Sensor Observation Service that ensures the necessary interoperability for seamlessly integrating the environmental data provided by the EEA's member states and thus forms the foundation for the developed data exchange mechanisms. This is complemented by information about the resulting Sensor Web architecture and the integration into the EEA's existing IT infrastructure. In summary, this article describes a practical scenario in which SWE technology enables the exchange of near real-time environmental data on a large scale.