Capitalizing on Global Demands for Open Data Access and Interoperability – the USGIN Story
Abstract:The U.S. National Geothermal Data System's (NGDS – www.geothermaldata.org) provides free open access to ~ 10 million data records, maps, and reports, sharing relevant geoscience and land use data to propel geothermal development and production in the U.S. Since the NGDS is built using the U.S. Geoscience Information Network (USGIN – http://usgin.org) data integration framework the system is compliant with international standards and protocols, scalable, extensible, and can be deployed throughout the world for a myriad of applications. NGDS currently serves information from hundreds of the U.S. Department of Energy's sponsored projects and geologic data feeds from 60+ data providers in all 50 states, using free and open source software, in a federated system where data owners maintain control of their data. This interactive online system is opening new exploration opportunities and shortening project development by making data easily discoverable, accessible, and interoperable at no cost to users.
USGIN Foundation, Inc. was established in 2014 as a not-for-profit company to deploy the USGIN data integration framework for other natural resource (energy, water, and minerals), natural hazards, and geoscience investigations applications, nationally and worldwide.
The USGIN vision is that as each data node adds to its data repositories, the system-wide USGIN functions become increasingly valuable to it. Each data provider will have created a value-added service that is transportable and scalable to cover all data in its possession. Thus, there are benefits to each participant to continue to add data to the system and maintain it. The long term goal is that the data network reach a ‘tipping point’ at which it becomes like a data equivalent to the World Wide Web – where everyone will maintain the function because it is expected by its clientele and it fills critical needs. Applying this vision to NGDS, it also opens the door for additional data providers external to geothermal development, thus increasing the value of data integration platform, USGIN.
USGIN meets all the requirements of the White House Open Data Access Initiative that applies to (almost) all federally-funded research and all federally-maintained data, opening up huge opportunities for further deployment.