52°North - exploring horizons

52°North SOS

Web Service

The 52°North Sensor Observation Service (SOS) supports the interoperable provision of live and archived sensor observation data. A sensor could be a water level meter in a stream, a weather station, or an air quality monitoring station.

52°North SOS and JavaScript client


  • Browser Client: The SOS is delivered with a browser based application. This provides means for administration and configuration of the service instance, as well as sending test requests for SOS operations; appropriate sample requests are included.
  • Helgoland: The SOS contains the Helgoland application for the exploration, analysis and visualization of sensor web data in various fields of use, e.g. hydrology, meteorology, environmental monitoring, traffic management.
  • Specifications: The 52°North SOS implements the current specification version 2.0.0 and the previous version 1.0.0 (here no transactional operations). Implemented operations for each standard version are listed below.
  • INSPIRE Download Service Extension: Starting with Version 4.2.0, an extension is available that allows the SOS to be used as an INSPIRE download service. Background information is provided in a blog post and in the wiki .
  • Air Quality Data e-Reporting Extension: Starting with version 4.3.0, an extension is available that provides for the Air Quality Data Flows E1a, E1b and E2a compliant data (the instance on OSGeo-Live is not configured accordingly). The installation and configuration is documented in the 52°North Wiki.
  • RESTful API for Timeseries: Starting with Version 4.1.1., a bundle version is available, that directly provides the RESTful API, is available. Hence, timeseries can be requested in a RESTful way in JSON encoded requests. More details incl. documentation can be found in the SOS webapp.
  • Read more: Details of the implemented functionalities can be found in the 52°North Wiki.

SOS Operations


  • GetCapabilities: for requesting a self-description of the service.
  • DescribeSensor: for requesting information about the sensor.
  • GetFeatureOfInterest / GetFeatureOfInterestTime (from 1.0): for requesting features (e.g. sensor/measurement locations).
  • GetObservationById / GetObservation: for requesting observations.
  • GetResult (from specification version 2.0): for requesting sensor data.
  • GetResultTemplate (from specification version 2.0): for requesting a template of the result structure that will be returned by a GetResult request.
  • GetDataAvailability (from SOS 2.0 Hydrology Profile - OGC Best Practice): for requesting the data availability for certain configurations.


  • InsertSensor (from specification version 2.0): for inserting metadata of new sensors.
  • InsertObservation (from specification version 2.0): for inserting new observations.
  • UpdateSensorDescription (from specification version 2.0): for updating the description of a sensor.
  • DeleteSensor (from specification version 2.0): for deleting a sensor/procedure and all related offerings and observations.
  • DeleteObservation (extension for SOS specification 2.0): for deleting an observation.
  • InsertResultTemplate (from specification version 2.0): for inserting a result template.
  • InsertResult (from specification version 2.0): for inserting results.
  • InsertFeatureOfInterest for feature insertion
  • DeleteResultTemplate for the deletion of resultTemplates by identifier or offering/observedProperty pairs

Within these operations, the following filter operators are possible where applicable:

  • Spatial filter: BBOX, using a bounding box.
  • Temporal filter: During, with time period.
  • Temporal filter: TEquals, with time instant.


Website: http://52north.org/sos

Licence: GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2

Software Version: 4.4.0

Supported Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac

Supported Java Versions: 7+, (bundle version: 8+)

Supported DBMS: PostgreSQL (9+) + PostGIS (2+), MariaDB/MySQL (5.6+), Oracle DB (9+), SQL Server 2012


Commercial Support: http://52north.org/

Community Support: http://sensorweb.forum.52north.org/

Community Website: http://52north.org/communities/sensorweb/

Other 52°North projects on OSGeoLive: WPS