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:
These categories are non-exclusive; many data contributors are often developers.
This website provides the following resources for data providers and developers:
- The USGIN Data Provider Workflow provides an overview of the process of hosting data in accordance with USGIN specifications
- The USGIN Best Practices page provides technical users with a gold standard for sharing their data
- The Externally Developed Resources and Internally Developed Resources pages list the standards, profiles, and hardware and software implementations that make USGIN possible
- The Tutorials page provides a list of documents designed to explain some of the more technical aspects of USGIN
For more information, USGIN data providers and data developers are encouraged to peruse the USGIN Laboratory.