New STAplus extension will be based on the OGC Best Practice for using Sensor Things API with Citizen Science.

Raspberry Pi 3 with environmental sensors

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks public comment on the draft updated charter for the OGC SensorThings API Standards Working Group (SWG). The update adds a new task for the SWG – to create a new SensorThings API – Plus Extension (STAplus) based on the upcoming 21-068 OGC Best Practice for using Sensor Things API with Citizen Science. Comments are due by September 2, 2022.

The motivation for the Citizen-Science-focused STAplus extension was born during the EC H2020 project, Cos4Cloud. Whereas the dominant use of the OGC SensorThings data model (and API) can be coined with the use-case “single authority provides sensor readings to consumers,” in Citizen Science there are many contributors (the citizens) that together create the “big picture” with their observations.

The introduced STAplus extension supports a model where the observations are owned by (different) users that may each express the license for re-use; this part of the contribution is called the “ownership concept.” In addition to the ownership and license abilities, the introduced extension allows the expression of explicit relations between observations and the creation of group(s) of observations to containerize observations that belong together. Relations can be created among any individual observations or observations of a group to support performant Linked Data extraction and semantic queries, e.g. expressed in SPARQL.

The SensorThings API SWG believes that the introduced extension is an important contribution to the realization of the FAIR principles perhaps not only in Citizen Science as STAplus strengthens the “I” (Interoperability) through a common data model and API as well as the “R” (Re-usability) by enabling standards-based queries that can consider licensing conditions relevant for the reuse of other users' observations. The STAplus Data Model and Business Logic also enriches existing deployments as the extension can be seamlessly added and thereby offer new capabilities to create and manage the “big picture” with multi-user capabilities.

The draft SensorThings API Standards Working Group re-charter is available for review and comment on the OGC Portal. Comments are due by September 2, 2022, and should be submitted via the method outlined on the SensorThings API Standards Working Group re-charter public comment request page.

OGC Members interested in staying up to date on the progress of the SensorThings API standard, or contributing to its development, are encouraged to join the SensorThings API SWG via the OGC Portal.


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