[SensorML] standard sensornames ?

John Graybeal graybeal at mbari.org
Tue Jul 1 13:30:12 EDT 2008

One must distinguish between the _name_ of the sensor -- presumably a unique name, so you can distinguish that sensor from any other sensor, even those 'just like it' -- and the chacterization of the sensor, as for example by providing a "sensor type" like Soil Moisture Sensor.

The former -- a name for a sensor -- can be an arbitrary string, but best practices dictate a unique string, in a controlled and defined namespace.  Obviously unique names are most trivially created/named as URLs (because you know your own http domain should be unique), though the OGC practice is to use URNs in most situations.

The latter -- a sensor type, or a feature type -- relies on the existence of a controlled vocabulary that lists the possible names you can use (or describes how to create a new name).  The controlled vocabulary may be a community vocabulary, or may be one of your own creation.  The key features of such a vocabulary are that each term has a definition, changes are tracked, and unique URIs can be generated for each term.  GCMD has a long set of terms that approximate sensor types, and may be sufficient for finding the term (MMI hopes to create corresponding URIs for those, in the next 6-8 months), but a more definitive community vocabulary would be better. MMI[1] is trying to create such a vocabulary for marine sensors[4]; I am not aware of any equivalent in terrestrial sensing, but they may exist.  Features can be found in the SWEET ontology[5], though again I'm not sure about existing URIs for that ontology.

Some of the SensorML examples that are illustrative are on the VAST web pages; see for example [6].

MMI and OOSTethys[2]/Oceans IE[3] are in the process of developing some more concrete best practices and examples for these kinds of naming, URI generation, and feature/sensor terminology issues. As you can perhaps tell, solutions that are sensor-web-aware are still very much in development.

[1] MMI: Marine Metadata Interoperability Project (http://marinemetadata.org)
[2] OOSTethys Project (http://oostethys.org)
[3] Oceans IE: OGC Oceans Interoperability Experiment (http://xml.coverpages.org/OGC-oceansie.html)
[4] MMI Device Ontology Working Group (http://marinemetadata.org/ontdev)
[5] SWEET: Semantic Web for Earth and Environmental Terminology (http://sweet.jpl.nasa.gov/ontology/)
[6] MBARI CTD Buoy XML in SensorML (http://vast.uah.edu/index.php?view=article&catid=61%3Amarine-sensors&id=130%3Ambari-buoy-system&option=com_content&Itemid=75)


At 12:20 PM -0400 7/1/08, gsnmlxs wrote:
>Hi all,
>I have similar question. The schema contains a lot of fileds some of which (mainly come from GML) may not be necessary in most of cases. I am wondering if there is a standard specification on what information items are necessary or optional. Otherwise I think it is still difficult for the interoperation. Let me know your great ideas!
>Best wishes,
>FromÅF Aadit Shrestha
>AtÅF 2008-07-01 09:19:01
>ToÅF sensorml at lists.opengeospatial.org
>SubjectÅF [SensorML] standard sensornames ?
>Dear all,
>Are there any standard methods to write sensornames and phenomenons?
>For Example if I want to write 'Soil Moisture Sensor', how do I write it?
>'Soil_Moisture' or 'SoilMoisture' or 'SM' or 'S M Sensor' etc
>Is there a standardized list of how sensornames and phenomenon names should be written? ... So that they are unique and distinguished globally?
>Thanks and regards,
>SensorML mailing list
>SensorML at lists.opengeospatial.org

John Graybeal   <mailto:graybeal at mbari.org>  -- 831-775-1956
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Metadata Interoperability Project: http://marinemetadata.org  
Shore Side Data System: http://www.mbari.org/ssds

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