BGS' AGS file utilities tool update

The British Geological Survey’s (BGS) online tool for validating AGS files against the official AGS data format rules and its own National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) data submission requirement is now live.

 The BGS AGS file utilities tool is now ready for production use

The BGS AGS file utilities tool is now ready for production use

In late 2021, BGS released the beta service of the AGS file utilities tool. The application has now been updated and is now ready for production use. The online tool is easy and free to use, offering the ability to validate AGS files against both the official AGS data format rules (v4.x) and the NGDC data submission requirements. It also converts AGS data format files to and from MS Excel format.

This work has been made possible by the efforts of the AGS Data Format Working Group, that has updated the underlying official AGS Python library. As BGS uses the same library, the AGS rules are checked and the response is identical to the official AGS validator.

AGS v4.x data

The AGS data format standard is the file format used for reliable data transfer (project metadata, boreholes, geological information, samples and test results) between stakeholders in the geotechnical domain. Geotechnical data is of vital importance not only to BGS but also to UK plc, to gain a greater understanding of the subsurface for planning, engineering and modelling. It is the recommended file type for submission of geotechnical data to the NGDC, which is managed by BGS, to collect and preserve key geoscientific data, and make it available in the long-term to a wide range of users and for the benefit of future geotechnical projects.

AGS data validation

In 2021, the AGS Data Management Working Group released an AGS v4.x Python library, which offers AGS data format validation for AGS version 4.x and file conversion between .ags and .xlsx. This is a fantastic resource for the AGS community and offered the first official AGS file validation capability.

This library is released under an open license allowing others, including BGS, to incorporate the features offered in new applications.

AGS v3.x

For users who are creating or discovering AGS v3 files that they would like to submit to the NGDC, BGS continues to host its legacy AGS validation tool. This performs data checking against rules set out in the NGDC submission guidelines.

Open source

In line with UKRI, the BGS Digital Strategy and the wider Government Technology Code of Practice and Digital Service Standard, the source code for the AGS file utilities tool application is available under open license and hosted on the BGS GitHub.

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