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OGC seeks to modernize its Observations & Measurements standards

OGC Logo. New standard in BelgiumUK: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) requests public comment on the recharter of the OGC Observations and Measurements (O&M) Standards Working Group (SWG). 

OGC members have proposed a revision of the SWG Charter to reflect the group’s modified scope of work: to update the existing O&M standards to conform to modern web architecture requirements and best practice, and create a new OGC standard for JSON encoding of O&M data.

The O&M standard was originally defined within the OGC Sensor Web Enablement Initiative in 2003-2007. Version 2.0 of the standard was co-published as the  OGC Abstract Specification Topic 20 and ISO 19156:2011. The latest version of OGC Abstract Specification Topic 20 is from 2013. As such, the standard requires revising to accommodate technical issues discovered in various standard implementations and harmonization with recent W3C/OGC standardization work on sensor network terminology and concepts defined in the  Semantic Sensor Network (SSN) and Sensor, Observation, Sample, and Actuator (SOSA) ontologies. The ISO 19156 revision will be carried out by the ISO/TC 211 in parallel, and in close co-operation with the O&M SWG revision work on the OGC O&M encoding Standards.

Standards-based exchange of observed, measured, or modeled data are key enablers for many critical online consumer and governmental services. Examples of these data sets include: weather, air quality, and other kinds of environmental observations and forecasts; traffic monitoring data; health monitoring; building and construction safety measurements; various remote sensing data; and industrial process monitoring. The  Observations and Measurements family of Standards defines a conceptual level data model as well as encodings for these datasets.

The OGC Observations and Measurements – XML Implementation (OGC 10-025r1) Standard defines an XML encoding for the concepts defined in OGC Abstract Specification Topic 20 and will also be revised to accommodate the changes to the OGC Observations and Measurements Abstract Specification.

Notably, and in addition to the revision of the O&M XML Implementation Standard, there is an identified need to standardize an O&M data encoding for formats like JSON/GeoJSON. These formats are preferred in modern Web APIs, including those conforming to the  OGC API – Features – Part 1: Core Draft Standard (OGC 17-069r2).

Both the Observations and Measurements conceptual data model and its standardized XML encoding are used extensively in Spatial Data Infrastructures such as in the  EU INSPIRE. There is also on-going work to additionally provide INSPIRE O&M datasets in JSON/GeoJSON based formats, but no standard has yet been identified describing an interoperable way of doing this.

The new Observations and Measurements Standards Working Group draft charter is available for review and comment on the  OGC Portal. Comments are due by the 27th of September 2019 and should be submitted via the method outlined on the  Observations and Measurements Standards Working Group recharter request page.