PROVIDING FREE AND OPEN SOURCE ACCESS TO GEOSCIENCE DATA WORLDWIDE
US Geoscience Information Network (USGIN) is a freely available data integration framework, jointly developed by the USGS and the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), in compliance with international standards and protocols to provide easy discovery, access, and interoperability for geoscience data. One of the USGIN standards includes a geologic exchange language known as ‘GeoSciML’ (v 3.2 which enables instant interoperability of geologic formation data) which is also the base standard used by the 117-nation OneGeology consortium, established initially to serve digital geologic maps of the world. The USGIN deployment of NGDS serves as a continent-scale operational demonstration of the expanded OneGeology vision to provide access to all geoscience data worldwide.
USGIN is developed to accommodate a variety of applications; for example, the International Renewable Energy Agency streams data live to the Global Atlas of Renewable Energy. Alternatively, users without robust data sharing systems can download and implement a free software packet, “GIN Stack” to easily deploy web services.
The White House Open Data Access Initiative required all federally funded research projects and federal agencies to make their data publicly accessible in an open source, interoperable format, with metadata. USGIN currently incorporates all aspects of the Initiative as it emphasizes interoperability. The system is successfully deployed as the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS), officially launched at the White House Energy Datapalooza in May, 2014. The USGIN Foundation has been established to ensure this technology continues to be accessible and available.