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Report Intent and Process

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Intent and Process

Scope of the SSN XG

The SSN-XG worked on two main objectives:

  1. the development of ontologies for describing sensors, and
  2. the extension of the Sensor Model Language (SensorML), one of the four SWE languages, to support semantic annotations.

The first objective, ontologies for sensors, provides a framework for describing sensors. These ontologies allow classification and reasoning on the capabilities and measurements of sensors, the provenance of measurements and the connection of a number of sensors as a macroinstrument. Following W3C recommendation, OWL 2 DL is the selected language for ontology specification. The sensor ontologies, to some degree, reflect the OGC standards and, given ontologies that can encode sensor descriptions, mapping between the ontologies and OGC models is an important topic addressed by the SSN-XG.

The second objective, of semantic annotation of sensor descriptions and services that support sensor data exchange and sensor network management, serves a similar purpose to that offered by the semantic annotation of Web services.


The Group attracted a lively average participation of 18 regular attendees and contributors from 19 member organisations, and 4 invited experts. We met weekly by teleconference and simultaneous IRC chat using the facilities provided by the W3C. Our meeting dates and minutes are recorded and publicly available on the wiki. We also held a full day face-to-face meeting at the headquarters of SURA, Washington DC, USA on the 24th October 2009.

The wiki was used to organize the information, upload files, maintain progress of the activities, write the report and to provide public information about the activity.

The public mailing list was used to conduct discussion between meetings, and for announcements.

As ontology design issues became more complex and vigorous, we used the tracker to follow the progress of the more significant and contested issues.