BGS sensor data BETA

Instrumenting the Earth

Current sensor locations

Real-time monitoring of environmental phenomena is a large and growing area of interest in the BGS and wider research communities.

As an informatics department we are tasked with providing scalable, robust ways of managing high volume, highly varied data, generated by a range of scientific projects, including:

What and where?

The sensors we are collecting data from are located throughout the UK, and beyond, capturing information on properties such as groundwater temperature and levels, barometric air pressure and motion sensors. We have recently started collecting information related to the energy efficiency of buildings and have developed techniques for incorporating data from sensors operated by other institutions.

Data management and systems architecture

We want to manage the sensor data we use in our research in a consistent, scalable manner, regardless of the type of sensor, where it is located or who set it up.

We have developed an architecture for streaming sensor telemetry data into a central data store where it can be standardised, cleaned up and generally prepared for the many potential users that want to access that data.

System architecture diagram

A key element of this approach is that all of the key data and metadata relating to a sensor should be held in a single location. How that data and metadata is optimised for various clients can vary from user to user.

The high-level architecture diagram in Figure 2 shows the key stages in the sensor data flow. We will be releasing more details through this website over time and we are happy to answer specific questions from interested parties.

Data access

Our philosophy it to tailor data clients to meet the needs of the users without compromising the design of the central data store. This means that we may create web portals or mobile applications for a geographical area, a particular scientific discipline or a topic of public concern.

The range of outputs we are working on include:

Online graphing tool (BETA)
  • publicly accessible web APIs
  • the Thames Basin environmental modelling portal
  • ESIOS baseline monitoring

Try out our near real-time beta data-access tools and let us know what you think.

Beta data-access tools

Contact

Please contact BGS Enquiries if you are:

  • interested in using BGS sensor data
  • a software developer interested in accessing our web API
  • have comments on this page or the beta data-access tool