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AASG NSF Interoperability Project

One of the major projects currently developing US Geoscience Information Network capabilities is named the Geoscience Information Network (NSF GIN).  This project provides funding to assemble key modules and adopt standards and protocols to build an interoperable national Geoscience Information Network (“GIN”) that already has strong community engagement and broad consensus. The GIN is being developed in the context of national and international communities for enhanced global geospatial data interoperability. In an NSF-sponsored workshop, the nation's geological surveys agreed to the development of a na-tional Geoscience Information Network (GIN) that is distributed, interoperable, uses open source standards and common protocols, respects and acknowledges data ownership, fosters communi-ties of practice to grow, and facilitates development of new web services and clients. Geological surveys have an estimated 2,000 – 3,000 databases that represent one of the largest, long-term information resources on the geology of the United States and collectively constitute a national geoscience data “backbone” for research and applications.

GeoSciML--GML application for Geoscience information interoperability

The GeoSciML application is a standards-based data format that provides a framework for application-neutral encoding of geoscience thematic data and related spatial data.

Marine Metadata Interoperability Project

"Promoting the exchange, integration and use of marine data through enhanced data publishing, discovery, documentation and accessibility." The Project goal is to support collaborative research in the marine science domain, by simplifying the incredibly complex world of metadata into specific, straightforward guidance. MMI encourages scientists and data managers at all levels to apply good metadata practices from the start of a project, by providing the best guidance and resources for data management, and developing advanced metadata tools and services needed by the community.


Mercury is a Web-based system to search for metadata and retrieve associated data. Mercury incorporates a number of important features. Mercuury:

  • Invokes a new paradigm for managing dynamic distributed scientific data and metadata
  • Provide a single portal to information contained in disparate data management systems
  • Provide free text, fielded, spatial, and temporal search capabilities
  • Puts control in the hands of investigators or other data providers
  • Has a very light touch (i.e., is inexpensive to implement)
  • Is implemented using Internet standards, including XML
  • Supports international metadata standards, including FGDC, Dublin-Core, EML, ISO-19115
  • Is compatible with Internet search engines
  • Is based on a combination of open source tools and ORNL-developed software

The new Mercury system is based on open source and Service Oriented Architecture and provides multiple search services including: RSS, Geo-RSS, OpenSearch, Web Services and JSR-168 Portlets.

National Geologic Map Database Project

The National Geologic Map Database project (NGMDB) is intented to build a comprehensive reference tool and data management system for spatial geoscience information in paper and digital form. It consists of the following: 1) a Map Catalog containing limited metadata for all paper and digital geoscience maps and book publications that contain maps (including maps of any part of the Nation, published by any agency), online viewable images of paper and digital maps, and links to online data; 2) the U.S.

National Geothermal Data System

The National Geothermal Data System project is tasked with the development of an accessible and comprehensive web-based data system to support the discovery, development and sustainability of geothermal resources in the United States.

Developement NGDS is an important step towards allowing geothermal to become a more significant component of our nation's energy portfolio. The data system is being developed by a consortium. Major participants are:

  • GeoStrat data system (Boise State University);
  • Energy & Geosciences Institute (University of Utah);
  • Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy (University of Nevada, Reno);
  • Geo-Heat Center (Oregon Institute of Technology);
  • Stanford Geothermal Program, (Stanford University);
  • Geoscience Information Network, (Association of American State Geologists and US Geological Survey data system, Arizona Geological Survey)

  The diversity of the GDC provides the breadth of expertise, reduces social-cultural barriers, and provides access to critical data and data products; all critical factors for developing the NGDB.

OPeNDAP: Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol

OPeNDAP: Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol

-- a framework that simplifies all aspects of scientific data networking.

-- provides software which makes local data accessible to remote locations regardless of local storage format. OPeNDAP also provides tools for transforming existing applications into OPeNDAP clients (i.e., enabling them to remotely access OPeNDAP served data).

-- software is freely available.

What is OPeNDAP?  Here are some links to documentation about OPeNDAP


The THREDDS (Thematic Realtime Environmental Distributed Data Services) project is developing middleware to bridge the gap between data providers and data users. The goal is to simplify the discovery and use of scientific data and to allow scientific publications and educational materials to reference scientific data. The mission of THREDDS is for students, educators and researchers to publish, contribute, find, and interact with data relating to the Earth system in a convenient, effective, and integrated fashion. Just as the World Wide Web and digital-library technologies have simplified the process of publishing and accessing multimedia documents, THREDDS is building infrastructure needed for publishing and accessing scientific data in a similarly convenient fashion. (See THREDDS Fact Sheet.)