Workshop Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) for oceanography, status of developments, international coordination and dialogue with industry, hosted by the EU-EuroFleets II project

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London, UK

Tuesday 15 March 2016, 13.30 – 17.00 hours

Place: Oceanology International 2016, Room 6 of the Excel Centre, London, UK

Date: Tuesday 15 March 2016, 13.30 – 17.00 hours

Contact: Dick M.A. Schaap – MARIS (


OGC provides a family of standards specifications called ‘Sensor Web Enablement’ (SWE) which includes detailed information about the sensors making measurements and the platforms that carry the sensors using the Sensor Model Language (SensorML), general models and XML encodings for sensor Observations and Measurements (O&M), and a protocol to provide access to observations from sensors and sensor systems in a standard way (Sensor Observation Service (SOS)).

Various projects are making progress to adopt SWE and develop standards that can be applied by operators of operational marine observation systems to describe in more detail their observations and to provide standardised access to these observations using the SOS service protocol. This can provide a way for direct access to the related data streams from operational sensor systems, such as real-time ocean monitoring networks and underway data from systems on board research vessels.
However, the broad range of activities using SWE standards leads to a risk of diverging approaches how the SWE specifications are applied. Because the SWE standards are designed in a domain independent manner, they intentionally offer a high degree of flexibility enabling implementation across different domains and usage scenarios. To avoid interoperability issues, an agreement is needed on how to apply SWE concepts and how to use vocabularies in a common way that will be shared by different projects, implementations, and users.

To address this need, partners from several projects and initiatives in Europe (such as Eurofleets / Eurofleets2, SeaDataNet II, BRIDGES, FixO3, JericoNext, NeXOS, SenseOcean, ODIP/ODIP II a.o.), USA (IOOS, X-DOMES), and Australia (AODN) have teamed up to develop marine profiles of OGC SWE standards that can serve as a common basis for developments in multiple projects and organisations.

The SWE Workshop will be organised by the EU-funded Eurofleets2 project with contributions of several of the other mentioned projects. An overview will be given of the present state of developments by means of a few concise presentations. In addition manufacturers of instruments and platforms will be invited for sharing their views on adoption of SWE standards. Furthermore a panel discussion will be included. This should lead to a fruitful dialogue for finetuning SWE standards in the near future.

Who can attend: the Workshop is open for everybody. Target persons are developers and managers of operational oceanography observing systems on board of vessels and on networks of observation platforms; manufacturers of observation instruments and manufacturers of observation platforms; marine and ocean data managers.

Hosted by:

The EU funded Eurofleets2 project concerns the European fleet of Research Vessels and aims at developing a common strategy and at establishing a European fleets infrastructure. This includes activities such as structuring and integrating, on a European scale, by e-platform, the way that research vessels are operated and their interoperability capacities; and promoting interoperable and standardized tools for data management.


Figure: Data paths from instruments to end users in a research vessels and fixed stations scenario. The places where Real Time Data Services using OGC Sensor Web Enablement technologies are also outlined.

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