Confluence Retirement

Due to the feedback from stakeholders and our commitment to not adversely impact USGS science activities that Confluence supports, we are extending the migration deadline to January 2023.

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is targeted for retirement. 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.
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

This page documents the USGS Model Catalog effort. This information is provided for transparency and open discussion and is a work in progress.

Contact for this page: Leslie Hsu,
Any errors, omissions, or unclear information on these pages are mine. Please get in touch for clarification or suggestions.

Introduction and Status

The USGS Model Catalog project initiated in FY20 and supported by the Core Science Systems Mission Area.

This wiki space was created after talking to a small group of model catalog stakeholders during outreach in April 2020. As we continue the stakeholder conversations, we are using this draft document to organize and solicit feedback.

For planning and prioritization purposes, the information in this document is laid out in three phases. Phase 1 is to implement a functional and human-browsable catalog and is planned for Fall 2020. Phase 2 is to add capabilities that will require more discipline-specific metadata, and is planned for 2021. Phase 3 is to add capabilities that require machine-to-machine interaction and to add capabilities that are specific to a smaller subgroup of stakeholders and is planned for 2021 and beyond.

In the initial year, the small project team is focusing on facilitating discussions to scope the catalog and document the diversity of needs from potential model catalog users. Experimental prototypes are being constructed for feedback and improvement. Based on initial year feedback, the catalog may expand to meet more of the requested features.


The goals of the Model Catalog Project are to:

  1. Improve discovery and awareness of scientific models
  2. Develop mechanisms to link scientific models to supplementary information, including professional contacts, reference literature, web resources, source code, data, and documented model applications
  3. Facilitate traceability and reproducibility of model results and model-based (e.g. decision) support tools.

(Text above drawn from

The catalog is envisioned as a resource for integrated modeling projects such as EarthMAP.

More about the motivation for this model catalog is on the Model Catalog Working Group page. 

Working Group Feedback

A working group was formed to advise the model catalog team on expectations for a USGS model catalog. Initial members were chosen from participants in the Community for Data Integration. Recommended participants expanded the group to cover diverse disciplines. 

Initial working group feedback is summarized in this document (200515 Model Catalog WG Responses.pdf), but continued outreach will be conducted to gather more input. 

Anyone who wants to contribute is encouraged to get in touch. The working group contact is Leslie Hsu,

A GitHub Issues page is set up for those who would like to submit feedback on specific questions there.  

User Stories

User stories were constructed from working group feedback and are posted here: Model Catalog User Stories. User stories will be refined and updated as new cases are discovered.

Examples of Other Catalogs

To inform our effort, other catalogs of models or code were examined. The initial list is somewhat biased to a disciplinary background in Earth Surface Processes, and additional examples are welcome. 

Model Catalog Examples

Requirements and Roadmap

Requirements and a roadmap are being developed.

We are posting versions as we go and welcome feedback.

Model Catalog Requirements-v4-200701.docx

Model Catalog Phase 2 Requirements.docx

Model Catalog Metadata

As of December 2020, we are on version 2 of the model catalog metadata, for a Basic Profile, Advanced Profile (Single Model), Framework, Testbed, and Tool. 

See Model Catalog Metadata

Definitions and Tags

Pages to collect relevant definitions and tags is being drafted. Model Catalog DefinitionsModel Catalog Labels

These pages will help to clarify different types of models and their likelihood of being included in the catalog.

Input from disciplinary modelers is being sought.

Other Links

pymodelcat repo for the experimental part of this project. Provided for people who like to use GitHub for discussion.

Initial model information found online provided as an example of what would go in a pilot catalog. Interface may change dramatically in the future.


References include other model catalog standards and reports, other catalogs examined, and suggested references for gathering requirements. Model Catalog References


A start to a frequently asked questions page. Model Catalog FAQ.

What is in the catalog, and what is in the queue? Model Catalog Records

Project Updates

A chronological account of milestones and decisions  - Project Updates - Model Catalog

Team Members

  • Leslie Hsu - coordination, outreach
  • Brandon Serna - developer, data scientist, technical advisor
  • Amanda Liford - team member, catalog population and design, usability, outreach
  • Grace Donovan - team member, catalog population and design, outreach
  • Tristan Wellman - semantics, informatics, R&D
  • Viv Hutchison - supervisory role
  • Sky Bristol - advisory role, link to EarthMAP project team

The model catalog is coordinated by the Science Analytics and Synthesis page but needs the expertise of model authors and users across the USGS to reach its goals. 

  • No labels

1 Comment

  1. Rather than post an abundantly long comment here, I posted some thoughts on a slightly different direction on laying the foundation for the USGS Model Catalog to a blog post. I welcome comments over there.