CCSI Collaborates with USGS to Create Earth Science Data Catalog

Jun 26, 2014
 USGS Library. To deliver a wealth of USGS data collected over decades in easy-to-access formats for researchers around the globe, CCSI scientists and USGS collaborators developed the USGS Science Data Catalog, with which users can access earth science data through online searches.

Data scientists Ranjeet Devarakonda, Giri Palanisamy, and Biva Shrestha with the Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators with the US Department of the Interior United States Geological Survey (USGS) have jointly developed the USGS Science Data Catalog for earth science data. CCSI worked on the database index, search engine, and user interface for the project, which began last November under an interagency agreement between the two organizations.

The catalog service allows users to efficiently browse and discover USGS datasets through searches by keyword, data source, scientist name, or geographic information system. The catalog’s records describe datasets, data collections, and observational or remotely sensed data stored in national systems. Some collections in the catalog contain information dating as early as the 17th century.

The USGS created the catalog to meet the requirements of a May 2013 executive order that called for all government-funded data to be freely available to the public, easy to find, accessible, and usable. Building upon an earlier interagency memo released by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the executive order’s implementation was guided by an Office of Management and Budget policy and Project Open Data, a public data repository introduced by the White House on the open-source platform GitHub.—by Justin Kaffka.