52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH

Short name: 52°N
Contact name: Dr. Simon Jirka
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Brief Description of Organisation:

The 52°North GmbH has been founded in 2006 as a German company limited by shares (“Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung – GmbH”). Shareholders with the indicated shares are the University of Münster (Münster, Germany) - 26%, the University of Twente (Twente, The Netherlands) - 26%, Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. - Esri (Redlands, California, USA) - 24%, and con terra GmbH (Münster, Germany) - 24%. 52°North acts as a non-profit organization based on its shareholder's agreement. Shareholders receive neither profit shares nor other payments from company funds.

52°North coordinates activities of partners from research, industry, and public administration. Its mission is to foster the development of new concepts and technologies in Geoinformatics, in particular Sensor Web, Web-based Geoprocessing, Earth Observation, and Metadata. The company has a long and outstanding record in the Geo-IT domain and is significantly contributing to the development of international standards. For example, 52°North is involved in the OGC and in the advancement of the INSPIRE directive. A pro-active innovation strategy is a central element of 52°North’s activities. This becomes manifest in European and national research projects as well as the company’s involvement in OGC Testbeds. This is complemented by consulting and software development projects helping customers to integrate up-to-date technological developments into their operational infrastructures. 52°North focuses on the development of open-source software to promote the use of its developments and to motivate external developers to contribute to the advancement of 52°North software. 52°North Sensor Web implementations are used by many parties in domains such as oceanography, hydrology and environmental monitoring. Whenever possible, all software developed by 52°North is put under an open-source license.

JERICO-S3: Main tasks attributed under Work Packages:

The activities of 52N will especially be focused on WP7. In this context, 52°North will work on the advancement of Sensor Web components such as the SensorML editor smle, the Helgoland Sensor Web Viewer and data access services based on the OGC SWE standards.

Relevant Projects- previous and existing:

SeaDataCloud: Within this H2020 project, the aim is to advance the SeaDataNet infrastructure for managing large and diverse ocean observation data sets by adopting cloud and high-performance computing technology. The role of 52°North in this project comprises upstream components (i.e. SWE-based ingestion of near-real-time data streams) as well as the visualisation of observation data.

BRIDGES (Bringing together Research and Industry for the Development of Glider Environmental Services): Within this H2020 project 52°North contributes by developing an interoperable Sensor Web architecture that facilitates the operation of gliders collecting marine observation data.

ODIP II (Ocean Data Interoperability Platform, Phase 2): This H2020 coordination and support action aimed at facilitating the sharing of ocean data across scientific domains and international boundaries. The contribution of 52°North in this project addressed the aspects related to Sensor Web technology and the related OGC Sensor Web Enablement standards.

NeXOS (Next generation, Cost-effective, Compact, Multifunctional Web Enabled Ocean Sensor Systems Empowering Marine, Maritime and Fisheries Management): Within the FP7 project NeXOS 52°North focused on the development of an interoperable marine Sensor Web architecture for oceanographic data covering the whole path from the sensor to applications.

FixO3 (Fixed point Open Ocean Observatory): The FixO3 network (FP7) worked on the integration of European open ocean fixed point observatories and on improving the access to these key installations for the broader community. In the context of this project, 52°North contributed mainly its Sensor Web background and expertise on interoperable approaches for data modelling and sharing.


Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24, 48155 Münster, Germany