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Sensor observation service (SOS) is a Web service specification defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) group in order to standardize the way sensors and sensor data are discovered and accessed on the Web. This standard goes a long way in providing interoperability between repositories of heterogeneous sensor data and applications that use this data. Many of these applications, however, are ill equipped at handling raw sensor data as provided by SOS and require actionable knowledge of the environment in order to be practically useful. There are two approaches to deal with this obstacle, make the applications smarter or make the data smarter. We propose the latter option and accomplish this by leveraging semantic technologies in order to provide and apply more meaningful representation of sensor data. More specifically, we are modeling the domain of sensors and sensor observations in a suite of ontologies, adding semantic annotations to the sensor data, using the ontology models to reason over sensor observations, and extending an open source SOS implementation with our semantic knowledge base. This semantically enabled SOS, or SemSOS, provides the ability to query high-level knowledge of the environment as well as low-level raw sensor data.


Paper presented at the International Symposium on Collaborative Technologies and Systems, Baltimore, MD, May 18-22, 2009.