A Future Sensor Web for the Environment in Europe
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Integration of Environmental Information in Europe
Environmental Information Infrastructure
We have to understand better the complex interactions between global environmental change and the impacts on and of humanity, and assess the risk we are facing, how to mitigate them, and how to adapt to the changes we cannot manage. The global scientific community faces the challenge of delivering the necessary information and knowledge to society and policy makers. Europe has an important role to play in this global effort, and many initiatives are under way to improve the retrieval, access and sharing of relevant data and information. Nevertheless, there is also an increasing awareness that some of the data currently collected about the environment and its social impacts fall short of the requirements. In this paper we advocate the sensor web as a core contributor to address this challenge and improve the quality and timeliness of data about our environment. Widening the notion of a sensor beyond physical devices to include environmental models and user contributed contend, we promote central sensor web concepts. We give an overview of recent research areas and the state of play, before detailing how sensor services can encapsulate physical, virtual, and citizen based senses about our environment. We outline how an overarching event based architecture may facilitate these senses for situation awareness. The paper concludes with a discussion of recent and future developments that are required to establish a Future Sensor Web for the environment in Europe.