Wayland, Mass., November 24, 2008 –  The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC(R)), the Fisheries & Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the Alliance for Coastal Technologies organized a one day workshop "From Sensors to Applications: Advancing the Interoperability of Ocean Sensors." The workshop was convened as part of the Ocean Innovation 2008 "World Summit – Ocean Observing Systems" Conference October 19-22 in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Workshop attendees included ocean sensor manufacturers, researchers and government officials in the ocean observation community.

The conference brought together the global ocean observing systems community to discuss a revolution in ocean data collection. "Numerous organizations have been gathering data by means of buoys and other in situ sensors as well as autonomous underwater vehicles fitted with data collection devices like seismometers, current meters, salinity probes, and high-definition cameras, and also by means of satellite remote sensing," explained Mark Reichardt, President and CEO of OGC. "Increasingly, the community is embracing consensus-based open standards to better coordinate their efforts and share invaluable sensor data.  As the sheer number of deployed sensors increases, and as budgets tighten, the use of OGC standards and other open standards will help reduce costs, make sensor data easier to manage and share, and support rapid addition of new sensors to the information highway."

The demonstration focused on a harmful-algal-bloom-alert scenario, in which active sensors were discovered, accessed, controlled and read in real-time using browser-based applications that communicate via open standards. The IEEE 1451 "Smart Sensor" standard and the Marine Plug-and-Work Consortium's PUCK standard, which are typically implemented on sensor hardware, were demonstrated working with OGC Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) standards at the Web application level. Participants also showed how the SWE standards can provide direct access to legacy sensors not equipped with IEEE 1451 or PUCK capability. These standards work flexibly to support interoperability among researchers' systems as well as making it easy to provide public access to sensor information. The scenario also showed how sensor owners can coordinate on web publishing and access policies.

Slides presented at the conference can be seen at http://www.oceaninnovation.ca/WorkshopLinks.asp .

The OGC's SWE initiative has provided interface and encoding standards for Web services such as publish/discover, sensor tasking, encoding of observations and measurements, scheduling observations and subscribing to alerts from sensor systems.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 365 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org.