An interesting question from Dale Smith: Are there OpenAPIs for remote sensing and monitoring of scientific instruments? Dale pointed us at this very cool RSOE EDIS alert map as an example of what could be possible with distributed consumer-grade sensors that had OpenAPIs. I can imagine a number of very cool things that could be done with distributed weather or earth motion sensors. Are there software tools out there that make querying these sensors easy?
(One suggestion, however, would be for the RSOE EDIS to look for a slightly less ominous-sounding motto).
Yes, there are a few, mainly SensorML (http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/sensorml) and there are projects to bind these in a type-safe unit-consistent manner like JScience (www.jscience.org) or JSR 363, the new Units of Measurement API for the Java Platform (http://unitsofmeasurement.github.io/)
You’ll also find various sensor networks like Xively, formerly knoan as Cosm/Pachube, where you may register sensors or similar devices and access them through the network.