Thursday, January 01, 2015

National Geothermal Data System spun off in new non-profit company

Our US DOE-funded project to deploy and populate the National Geothermal Data System officially ended on December 31, but the results of the work will echo for years to come as the system moves into a new sustainable phase.  NGDS is operational and will remain free to all users.    The project met all its goals, was on time, and on budget.  In fact, we exceeded expectations in many areas.   The four other DOE-funded NGDS related projects all wrapped up earlier this year and NGDS in its entirety was handed over to our coalition to carry forward.       A key to our success is the active participation of the other state geological surveys.    AZGS ran the project on behalf of the Association of American State Geologists.  The close and trusting working relationships we have as a group was instrumental.

The project was highly praised by DOE’s annual external reviews as one of the best run projects (despite being the largest and having the most participants) in their portfolio of 230+ projects, with significant impact and contributions, both technical and economic.  The system is intended to increase geothermal exploration and development across the country by providing free, open source access to any digital data that can help, not just limited to geothermal data per se. 

The project was officially launched by Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz at the White House Datapalooza earlier this year.   We have 65+ sources in all 50 states currently providing access to their data resources via our distributed network.   They are serving over 10 million data records, including information on 3 million oil and gas wells, over 700,000 well logs, up to a million water wells, and tens of thousands of maps, documents, and reports. In Arizona, every oil, gas, geothermal, and CO2 well is online in the NGDS, along with numerous other datasets.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will be streaming our data into the online Global Renewable Energy Atlas.   We are contributing our content models and interchange formats to the National Data Repositories coalitiont to a new online Business Rules Library for data management in the global upstream petroleum industry.    Our model demonstrated that the White House Open Data Access Initiative could be viable and realistic.  We are demonstrating how the national network of state-level data can be applied to other natural resources, to natural hazards, environmental, and land use topics.    

Anyone can set up their own node in the network using free, open source software at the NGDS website.   And anyone can stream the data to their own web portal as IRENA is planning.

We spun off USGIN Foundation, Inc, this past year as an independent non-profit company to commercialize our technology and infrastructure at the national and international level.  NGDS is the biggest client/application/product of USGIN and one that we will continue to showcase as an example of what we can do and provide.   USGIN provides training, software extensions and customization, node set-up, and development of data content models or interchange formats to add new data categories.

We are negotiating grants and contracts now for the start-up company which is helping make Arizona a world center in geoscience cyberinfrastructure.

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