INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Mission and Objectives: 
The 52°North GmbH was founded in 2006 by the Institute for Geoinformatics Münster and the con terra GmbH. It coordinates an international network of partners from research, industry and public administration. Its mission is to foster the development of new concepts and technologies in Geoinformatics through a common innovation process. For this purpose, 52°North conducts research as well as professional consulting and software development projects. Topics that are in the core focus of 52°North comprise Sensor Web technology, Web based Geoprocessing (i.e. OGC Web Processing Service), the GIS ILWIS, and Earth Observation.
Formal Mandate: 
Not applicable
The open source software initiative 52°North founded as an international network in 2004 by the Institute for Geoinformatics Münster and the con terra GmbH coordinates activities of multiple 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 Enablement (SWE), Web based Geoprocessing, Security of Geospatial Web Services, Semantics, Earth Observation, Geostatistics, and Metadata. 52°North 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 an active member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (e.g. acting as chair of the Sensor Observation Service 2.0 Standards Working Group). Furthermore 52°North is involved in the advancement of the INSPIRE directive (e.g. by contributing to the definition of a future INSPIRE Download Service for observation data based on the OGC SOS 2.0 standard). 52°North follows a pro active innovation strategy, which becomes manifest in European (FP7) and national research projects such as EO2HEAVEN, GEOWOW as well as GeoViQua and the company’s involvement in OGC Testbeds (e.g. development of reference implementations of the SOS 2.0 and SPS 2.0 standards). This is complemented by professional services projects (consulting as well as software development) helping customers to integrate up to date technological developments into their operational infrastructures. Prominent examples are 52°North’s cooperation with the European Environment Agency for enabling an interoperable exchange of air quality data across Europe, projects with Rijkswaterstaat (The Netherlands), and the development of Sensor Web solutions to provide access to and visualization of near real time sensor data for the Service Centre Information Technology of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. 52°North focuses on the development of open source software in order to promote the use of the existing developments and to motivate external developers to contribute to the advancement of the 52°North software. Whenever possible, all software developed by 52°North is put under an open source license (primarily GPL version 2 or Apache License version 2). Consequently, all software products managed by 52°North are set up as open source projects.
Not applicable

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    52°North works on an international level. However, it also conducts national and regional projects.
    Societal Sector
    Private sector and research
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    52°North has long-term experience in the application of Sensor Web standards for environmental data. In this context, 52°North is for example involved in the specification/implementation of an INSPIRE Download Service based on the OGC SOS standard.
    Environmental application domains
    Focus areas for 52°North are for example hydrology, meteorology, and air quality
    Primary Business
    Software development and consulting