The sensor market and adjoined technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT)1 are rapidly growing, providing new possibilities but also creating new challenges; one of these challenges is the interconnection and communication of sensors using information technology and the joint evaluation of collected sensor data. The area of Geo-Monitoring has a long tradition in using sensors for observation of the geological, geotechnical and hydrogeological environment. Nonetheless the ever growing number of sensors, the ever increasing sampling rates, and the advent of new monitoring technologies call for new ways for effectively managing sensor networks and the logged data, so that the technological advance can be translated into a better understanding of the geo-environment, more accurate prediction, and reduced risks and costs. With its Sensor Web Enablement Initiative (SWE), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has provided standards that serve as universal foundation for all information systems dealing with sensors and sensor data.
Geology, geotechnics, hydrology as well as other environmental characteristics form a complex network of interactions. To be able to monitor the geo-environment we make intensive use of sensors and devices that turn natural characteristics into data that can be processed, evaluated and visualized. With the advent of more and more digital sensors (i.e. sensors or sensor systems that encode their observations in a digital form) and the ever-increasing sampling rate new challenges emerge that need to be addressed in order to use the recorded data for the benefit of a project.
The current situation in Geo-Monitoring, but also in many other areas where sensors are used, is comparable to the situation of GIS systems before the introduction of the Open GIS standards. Many isolated systems exist that manage sensor networks are often highly specialized and too often use proprietary technologies. However, especially in Geo-Monitoring where we aim for interdisciplinary data analysis this creates a multitude of problems and in many cases hinders an effective evaluation of sensor data.