We just took one big step toward the Sensor Web—a concept that combines sensors, Geographical Information Science (GIS) and mobile telecom’s location-based services (LBS). The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) just approved the OGC Sensor Model Language (SensorML) 2.0 Encoding Standard. Now all sensors (“things that measure”), actuators (“things that act”), and processors (“things that calculate”) have a common way to communicate their name and location. The SensorWeb will enable the Internet of Things, augmented reality, and potentially much easier building control and facility management. That is, no more lifting ceiling tiles to read physical labels to figure out where all the assets attached to an Internet-connected building automation network reside, what they are called on blue prints and schematics, and how they connect to the rest of the system. Apple iPhones are already equipped with iBeacon locators. We’re not far from the day when there will be mobile phone apps that enable you to point to an asset, then get a meaningful answer back from the cloud about its exact identity and any service needs.
SensorML is part of the OGC’s Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) suite of standards already used for satellite mission planning, monitoring and alerting, and intelligent cities and buildings around the world. I wrote more about mobile location services and semantic web efforts aimed at BACnet here. Note, the period for public comment on the OGC’s IndoorGML Standard will close on March 21st.