52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH is an international research and development company whose mission is to promote the conception, development and application of free Open Source geo-software for research, education, training and practical use. 52°North backs a partner initiative, which is driven by leading research organizations and individuals in the international GIS field. Partners participate in the development of Open Source innovations and the transformation of these into practical technological solutions. The current focus is on Sensor Web Enablement (SWE), Web Security and Digital Rights Management (DRM), as well as Web-based Geo-Processing. Principal partners are con terra - Gesellschaft für Angewandte Informationstechnologie mbH, Münster (Germany), International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Enschede (The Netherlands), University of Münster respectively the Institute for Geoinformatics (Germany) and ESRI Inc., Redlands (California, USA). The partners have a long and outstanding record in the domain of Geoinformatics, spatio-temporal modeling, spatial data infrastructures, software architectures, and standardization processes. 52°North partners are actively involved in the OGC standardization process for Sensor Web Enablement and Digital Rights Management as well as in INSPIRE drafting teams.
Although 52°North is a company limited by shares (GmbH), it acts like a non-profit organization. The company’s annual surplus may only be invested in the promotion of science and research, education and training in the field of Geoinformatics, the promotion of mutual transfer of knowledge between research and practical application, and the improvement of the availability of geoinformation technology and technology competence in developing and transformation countries. The shareholders receive neither profit shares nor other payments from company funds.
Being a small enterprise itself, 52°North makes use of (personnel) resources provided by its partner organizations in order to form an optimal team of highly specialized experts for any given project. Consequently, 52°North partners assured 52°North of committing highly qualified experts for the EO2HEAVEN project. The committed staff will be temporarily contracted by 52°North.
52°North contributes to WP4, particularly in order to advance Sensor Web Enablement and distributed web-based geo-processing approaches and technologies.
Furthermore 52°North contributes to the specification of use cases, implements and integrates core components of the SII infrastructure and provides them under an Open Source license (GPL) for further exploitation. 52°North will actively contribute to the OGC Sensor Web Enablement Working Group.