Conference Paper

An Open Source SOS-Based INSPIRE Download Service Implementation


There are several domains which require near-real time, as well as historic, observation data for scientific analyses, decision making, and the development of policies. To ensure the availability of the necessary data sets, Annex II and III of the INSPIRE Directive include several domains for which observation data need to be made accessible in the upcoming years. These include, for example, oceanography, hydrology, health, environment (emission data), meteorology and biodiversity.

The modelling and encoding of observation data sets is already described in the “Guidelines for the use of Observations and Measurements and Sensor Web Enablement-related standards in INSPIRE Annex II and III data specification development” document. It comprises information about how standards such as ISO/OGC Observations and Measurements shall be applied in the context of INSPIRE and indicates that the OGC Sensor Observation Service 2.0 (SOS) interface standard offers an efficient and interoperable approach for downloading observation data sets. However, detailed guidance on how to apply the SOS standard within the INSPIRE framework is not yet available.

To close this gap, the INSPIRE Technical Guidance for the implementation of INSPIRE Download Services should be extended to include the SOS as an optimised Download Service for observation data. A proposal for such an extension is currently being developed in a project conducted by the JRC and 52°North. The project includes the necessary enhancements of the SOS standard to become INSPIRE compliant (e.g. multilinguality, coordinate reference system as additional query parameter) as well as fundamental definitions (e.g. how is the term “data set” defined for SOS servers).

In parallel to the preparation of the proposal for an update of the Technical Guidance document, an open source implementation of this specification is currently under development. The extended functionality of SOS is implemented and available for testing at It is based on the 52°North SOS and shall give Member States a reference which they can use for implementing SOS-based INSPIRE Download Services. This activity is funded through the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) Programme’s Action 1.17: A Reusable INSPIRE Reference Platform (ARE3NA).

This presentation will provide an overview of the most important aspects of the proposed update of the Technical Guidance document and of the development of the Open Source INSPIRE/SOS implementation. Data providers and software developers will also gain an insight how the existing open source implementation can be set up and integrated into existing infrastructures to enable the INSPIRE-compliant provision of observation data sets.


Simon Jirka, Matthes Rieke, Alexander Kotsev, Paul Smits, Robin S. Smith

Presenter Biography: 

Simon Jirka is the Sensor Web Community Lead of the 52°North Open Source Initiative. He holds a PhD in Geoinformatics. In his disseration, he has dealt with catalogs for sensor networks and the Sensor Web. His work focusses on the subject of OGC Sensor Web Enablement. In this context, he has a wide range of experience in international research projects and professional service projects. In addition, Simon Jirka is a member of the Sensor Web Enablement Working Group of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

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