About

Hot Spring near the Town of Mammoth Lakes, California. Photo by Jack Truschel, Geothermal District Engineer, Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources, California Departmant of ConservationThe National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) is a catalog of documents and datasets that provide information about geothermal resources located primarily within the United States (although information from other parts of the world is also included).

This complete and current catalog of available data, which is funded by the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technology Office, is designed to accelerate the development of U.S. geothermal resources, and can be used to:

  • Determine geothermal potential
  • Guide exploration and development
  • Make data-driven policy decisions
  • Minimize development risks
  • Understand how geothermal activities affect your community and the environment
  • Guide investments.

If you are new to this site, learn more about how you can get started using NGDS.

Below you will find more information about how the NGDS is typically used, who contributes data, and where it is hosted.

How is NGDS Typically Used?

The NGDS can be used in many ways, depending on your needs and interests. Generally, the NGDS is used by:

  • Agencies, businesses, and researchers who wish to use the documents and datasets
  • Individuals who want to contribute additional data
  • Web developers who want to create custom applications that interact with NGDS data.

Learn more about typical uses and how you can get started using NGDS.

Who Contributes Data to NGDS?

NGDS data records are contributed by academic researchers, private industry, and state and federal agencies (including all fifty State Geological Surveys).  Initially, five groups digitized their data and made their data records visible through the NGDS.  

View a complete list of our NGDS data contributors on our Partners page or learn more about how to submit your data to the NGDS.

Where is NGDS Data Hosted?

Those who contribute data records to the NGDS host their data using their own computing resources according to the standards and protocols proposed by the U.S. Geoscience Information Network (USGIN).

The NGDS aggregates information about each of the documents and datasets, and makes these information records, which include direct access to most of the datasets, available to the public through the Map and Data interfaces in the NGDS.

This system allows NGDS contributors to retain complete control of their data, and allows the NGDS to be comprehensive yet scalable and decentralized.

If you’re thinking of contributing documents or datasets to NGDS, learn more about the how to submit your data or read about our data models, exchange methods, and metadata.

What Data Formats are Available?

The documents and datasets you can find through the NGDS are delivered in the following ways:

Standardized, interoperable datasets that conform to interchange specifications are delivered through web services. These datasets are considered to be NGDS “Tier 3” structured data can be processed automatically by computer software with minimal user input. This type of data can be used by many different programs and in conjunction with any compatible datasets. For more information on data tiers and web services, please see the Data Models, Exchange Methods, and Metadata page.

  • Documents and non-standardized datasets.

Although some of the data is available in non-standardized formats currently, the goal of the NGDS is to increasingly offer data that has been converted to standardized formats. To do this, we have adopted standards, protocols, and formats whenever possible.

What Standards Does the NGDS Meet?

NGDS metadata, which is used to describe each document or dataset, complies with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. NGDS data and metadata can be transferred according to Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) protocols such as Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Catalog Service for the Web (CSW).

Learn more about the NGDS data and metadata standards.

What Tools are Available to Access NGDS Data?

NGDS supports the popular ESRI Map Service protocol, so people may access the data through a variety of proprietary and free/open-source applications and software. See our GIS Resources and Geothermal Analysis Resources section for a listing of resources, models, and tools you can use to interact with NGDS data.