Confluence Retirement

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is scheduled for retirement on January 27th, 2023. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Blog from January, 2018

12/19/17, USGS GIS Community

The USGS GIS Community had a discussion on 12/19/17 about how GIS users and enthusiasts at USGS can share information and tools as a community. The importance of the topic was illustrated by the fact that the call was so well attended that we ran out of phone lines (sorry about that - recording linked below.) Shane Wright and Roland Viger led the discussion, including the current state of USGS Enterprise GIS Help. CDI helped to facilitate the call.

Participants answered polls about what open source GIS tools they use, what technical support mechanisms seemed most promising, and what are the most important needs of the GIS community over the next 5 years. This was the start of a community of practice that will help to communicate and advance GIS capabilities at the USGS. To get involved in the conversation, contact Shane ( or Roland (

See the notes and recording at this page

See the TSWG GIS Focus Group Forum

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This post rounds out the 2017 CDI Collaboration Area Activity. It's been such a full year, I'm looking forward to more great topics in 2018!

Some of these topics do not really lend themselves to images, but we must have an image. So here is last month's ball of CDI Collaboration Area words:

11/30 Software Development Cluster - future topics

The group discussed goals to help guide how this group could collaborate and benefit from each other (in order of priority and likelihood):

  • Share awareness of what is going on (software efforts, tool exploration, best practices, metadata standards)

  • Share lessons learned

  • Share configurations (software, tools, architectures, ...)

  • Share data, services, and/or maybe even code

Let the group leads, Michelle Guy (mguy) and Blake Draper (bdraper), know if you have specific topics or goals you’d like to see addressed. Software Development Cluster Page

12/4 Metadata Reviewers - data quality information

The group talked about a specific field in the USGS data release metadata: That pesky data quality information. The Data Quality field is challenging because many metadata creators and reviewers are not sure what to put there, many times there is no useful content in that field. Madison Langseth brought up a current effort to compile Data Quality Documentation Examples. See the rest of the discussion at the Metadata Reviewers page.

12/5 DevOps - streaming data, agile contracts, Cloudfront

DevOps had three presentations, two in Project Management and two in SysAd and Developer.

  • SCAPE (Secure Cloud Analytic Processing Environment): A Framework for adaptable and secure analysis of streaming data. (Ginny Cevasco - Booz Allen Hamilton)

  • GHSC (Geologic Hazards Science Center) experience with an Agile Contract (Lynda Lastowka, USGS). Shared link on agile contracts in government.

  • CHS (Cloud Hosting Solutions) Cloudfront/WAF service (Jonathan Russo - CHS)

DevOps wiki page.

12/11 Data Management Working Group - the business of science

The focus was the Data Management Theme: Acquire. Brian Reece spoke on the topic "Data integration, fiscal accountability, and the 'business of science.'" He presented an evolving suite of web services and procedures that improve the availability to access and integrate data from Bureau systems such as BASIS+ (used to track projects and financial info), FBMS (tracks agreements and sales), and IPDS (used to track publications). Data Management WG page

12/14 Semantic Web Working Group - integrated modeling

The group discussed plans for possible future work on an integrated modeling project and a data dictionary database, as well as content for a future CDI Monthly Meeting. Semantic Web WG page.

12/14 Tech Stack Working Group - more Jupyter widgets

"Mini-Hack-Session: Developing and extending Jupyter Widgets": Jason Grout, Bloomberg. Jason walked through the thought and technical processes involved with developing new widget capability. See the recording. Tech Stack WG page.

12/27 Open Source Coffee Talks - code inventories and metadata

The December Open Source topic was code inventories and metadata. Eric Martinez has been working on leverage open APIs to aggregate code.json files from individual USGS projects into a software inventory compatible with Eric was unavailable at this months call. Alternatively, Cian Dawson volunteered to talk about the Water Mission Area activities and the Software IM. The Software IM is currently under heavy revision by the Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Committee and any feedback is welcome. (See details at the first comment on this page.) Open Source Coffee Talks page.

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Here's another installment of all the topics being explored in the CDI Collaboration Areas. I'll get up to date yet!

11/2/17 Software Development Cluster - How do we use version control?

The Software Development group discussed how people use github or other version control, for example, regarding release schedules and when in the dev cycle do releases begin? Eric Martinez led this conversation with a presentation on how the GHSC (Geologic Hazards Science Center) is using gitlab. Slides available to Dept. of Interior users.

Examples of using GitLab

11/6/17 Metadata Reviewers - learning about different type of specialized metadata - the Biological Data Profile

The Metadata Reviewers group had earlier decided to learn together about different types of specialized metadata. Pai and Erika shared examples of using the Biological Data Profile for data from Sea Otter Surveys. (See Western Ecological Research Center Approved Data Releases) Read more.

Where to go to find Sea Otters... Figure from a publication supported by Sea Otter Survey Data that is documented with the Biological Data Profile.

11/7/17 DevOps - USGS Git Hosting News, Content Delivery Networks

The DevOps meetings continue to bring us explanations of new and evolving capabilities available to groups in the USGS, as well as opportunities for me to learn new acronyms.

    • Intro USGS Git Hosting Platform (Eric Martinez). Slides available to Dept. of Interior users. Questions Comments Feedback: GS Help GIT:

    • Announcing CHS CDN/WAF Service  (Cloud Hosting Solutions) (Content Delivery Network) (Web Application Firewall) (Jonathan Russo). This is a managed service intended for people who have a public facing internally hosted site that want to utilize Cloudfront.

    • GIT Hosting and Version Control (George Rolston). George presented and gitlab-ci which is currently running and available for use. If you are not aware of what gitlab-ci is, it is a great time to learn how you can automate your builds with nothing more than a commit to master on (CI = Continuous Integration)

Access more information at the DevOps wiki page.

11/9/17 Semantic Web Working Group - a USGS triple store

This is the place you can go to learn about user stories for a USGS triple store, picking a system of persistent identifiers for linked data components, and choosing between 303 URIs and hash URIs. We are all learning together!

11/9 Tech Stack Working Group - Jupyter Widgets

"Jupyter Widgets": Jason Grout, Bloomberg. (aka ipywidgets) enables building interactive GUIs for Python code using standard form controls (sliders, dropdowns, textboxes, etc.), as well providing a framework for building complex interactive controls such as interactive 2d graphs, 3d graphics, maps, and more.

See the recording.

11/13 Data Management Working Group - "Plan"

The focus was the Data Management Theme: Plan, and the group welcomed speakers on three topics:

    • Guidance on how to release USGS model output files – Fran Lightsom

    • Examples of building data management plans as code – Sky Bristol

    • Data Management activities in the Water Mission Area – Linda Debrewer

See the slides at the DMWG meeting page.

11/29 Open Source Coffee Talks - estimating software development tasks

Estimating Software Development Tasks. Discussion: "What approach has worked to best determine when a (software development) task will be completed on time, within scope, and within budget? Single point estimating? Three Point Estimating? Story Point Estimating? 50%-90% Estimating? Padding your initial thought by a factor of 2,4,8 estimating?" The group discussed these options and also created a new #projectmanagement slack channel on USGS slack

Learn more about the group at their wiki page.

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