Advancing Geoinformation Science for a Changing World

Volume 1 of the series Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography pp 227-246


Connecting R to the Sensor Web

  • Daniel NüstAffiliated withInstitute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster Email author 
  • , Christoph StaschAffiliated withInstitute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster
  • , Edzer PebesmaAffiliated withInstitute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster


data exchange and reproducibility are increasingly important for modern scientific research. This paper shows how three open source projects work together to realize this: (i) the R project, providing the lingua franca for statistical analysis, (ii) the Open Geospatial Consortium's Sensor Observation Service (SOS), a standardized data warehouse service for storing and retrieving sensor measurements, and (iii) sos4R, a new project that connects the former two. We show how sos4R can bridge the gap between two communities in science: spatial statistical analysis and visualization on one side and the Sensor Web community on the other. sos4R enables R users to integrate (near real-time) sensor observations directly into R. Finally, we evaluate the functionality of sos4R. The software encapsulates the service's complexity with typical R function calls in a common analysis workflow, but still gives users full flexibility to handle interoperability issues. We conclude that it is able to close the gap between R and the sensor web.