Keep on Geo-Trekkin (August 1996)

Following publication of the list in last month's issue, PDM reports on another important data repository - the US National Geoscience Data Repository System (NGDRS) initiated in 1993.

The goals of the NGDRS are twofold: to preserve the large amount of legacy geoscience data that may be destroyed as being surplus to requirements and to provide a means for users to locate existing data through a Geographical Information System (GIS). Under the auspices of the American Geological Institute (AGI) the NGDRS team, which includes POSC, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, and The Information Store has put together a coalition of private companies to plan and implement a system of public and private data stores. This represents a network of independent, dispersed digital data and material storage facilities that are joined electronically.

real rocks!

Phase I of the NGDRS project was completed in 1994 and demonstrated that companies were willing to donate millions of seismic miles, well logs, boxes of cores and cuttings, and other assorted geoscience data. Phase II was initiated in February 1995 with the goal of developing an operating plan for the NGDRS. A metadata repository that contains twenty two data servers controlled by GeoTrek has proved the viability of using a metadata repository to find data in distributed data servers. GeoTrek allows a GIS based access to the different metadata stores and the user can determine what data is available in a given area. It is important to note that only metadata (data about data such as well name, well location, formation name, etc.) is accessible through the NGDRS. The user must contact the owner of the hard data for permission to view or retrieve. Data accessible through the system includes cultural, seismic locations, well data, cuttings, maps, images, and text files.


In 1997, Phase III will establish a clearinghouse for data transfer from the private sector to the public domain and provide a metadata repository and related software that will enable the users of geoscience data to determine what data exists, who owns it, where it is, and how to access it. The next step is to put the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology's (BEG) core and cuttings data store live on the Internet during the first quarter of 1997 Contacts Tim Haynes ( and Glenn Breed (

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