USGIN users can be divided into three different categories based on the manner in which they use USGIN:

  • Data consumers: Agencies, businesses, and researchers who access and use data provided by USGIN data-sharing networks. USGIN data consumers typically begin by accessing a USGIN data-sharing network metadata catalog, such as the NGDS Catalog. Data consumers can use these catalogs to search for data; search results include metadata records that provide the user with procedures for data access. Examples include:
    • The Geological Survey of Alabama's experience as a data contributor for the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) facilitated refinement of their data and metadata collection and curation standards
    • Hawaii uses data from the NGDS, a USGIN data-sharing network, to facilitate the search for geothermal resources in Hawaii
  • Data contributors: Individuals or agencies who submit data to a USGIN data-sharing network. Data providers will typically perform some combination of digitization, schema mapping, and data hosting. Examples include:
  • Developers: Individuals or agencies responsible for creating or maintaining the physical or digital infrastructure of USGIN data-sharing networks. Examples of physical and digital infrastructure include:
    • Servers on which data is hosted
    • Schemas that facilitate interoperability
    • Applications designed to interact with data or facilitate data exchange

These categories are non-exclusive; many data contributors are often developers.

This website provides the following resources for data providers and developers:

For more information, USGIN data providers and data developers are encouraged to peruse the USGIN Laboratory.