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.

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STEP 1: Select Filter Criteria

  • Filter criteria are arranged in sections (for example, Geographic Location; Temporal; Biological Community/Data Type and Sample Type).
  • The combination of filters from each section creates a "filter set" (combination of criteria) that refines the data set to meet your needs.

STEP 2: Select Data Set(s)

The data sets available from the BioData retrieval system are presented in two tables.

  • The upper table lists the data sets containing data that match the criteria you set.
    • Check the boxes in the left-most column to select the data set(s) you would like to obtain, then select the "Next" button to go to the Preview and download page.
  • The lower table lists other potential data sets with no records matching the criteria you set.
    • This list is provided so you may see an inventory of the data sets available in the system. If you desire, select the "Previous" button to edit your filter set.

STEP 3: Preview and Download

  1. Preview each data set (one at a time) - if desired
  2. Select the file type
  3. Download data set(s) to a zip file, which includes:
    • all selected data sets
    • your filter criteria as an XML file that can be reused on the select filter criteria page
    • a KML file that can be used to display the selected sites on a map (e.g. Google Earth), and
    • a data dictionary


Data selection tips

  • Save your filter criteria (XML file) for additional data pulls or to share with colleages without sending large data files
  • Upload a site list
  • Taxon-specific filters allows you to look for specific fish, invertebrate, or algal taxa

Things to be aware of when downloading data sets from BioData

  • When combining data from different protocols be aware that similar named columns could represent very different data types or differently named columns could represent very similar data.
  • When combining taxonomic data from different laboratories be sure and verify that this is appropriate.
  • Understand the data sets you are working with. The Project Abstract is a description of the data collected by a project; the sample type characterizes how samples are collected in the field and; the laboratory procedures outlines how samples were processed in the lab.