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 myusgs@usgs.gov. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

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  1. Is software also considered in "data releases"? Does ScienceBase include any software and are they open source and connected to GitHub? Would this help meet the Federal Source Code Policy for ensuring 20% of our software at DOI is open source?
    1. If authors have a little script that is only applicable to a data release, it can go in ScienceBase. If the code is something that needs to be maintained, it's generally released on code.usgs.gov.
    2. Drew Ignizio: a static file containing code can be attached to a landing page. Anything that requires management (a true software product) will make more sense to put on code.usgs.gov
  2. Viv, will the SB Data Release dashboard show both pending and public data releases by cost center?

    1. Currently, we're focusing on public data releases. There was some concern about showing in-progress data releases to people outside of that releases' science center, since the dashboard will be open to all. Currently, the dashboard shows the number of in-progress data releases, but only details for public data releases.
  3. would you please confirm if the link populating ScienceBase from IPDS  already active or still in development?

    1. Drew Ignizio and Madison Langseth: Autofill from IPDS' is in place now for the ScienceBase Data Release form. You will need to be on VPN or the USGS network to access this feature.
  4. I'm curious to know what are the various formats of models that exist at USGS. Are they software, images, etc.? How does the format of these models enable them to be more FAIR?
    1. Leslie: regarding your model question, currently there are all sorts of model formats, and how people think about model (equations in a pub vs. code in a repo vs. conceptual model). We've started a list of different types that we would like the community to input on: https://my.usgs.gov/confluence/display/cdi/Model+Catalog+Definitions
  5. Is code.usgs.gov connected to code.gov?

    1. Brandon Serna: [9:57 AM] Serna, Brandon S
      Hey Liu, Sophia iirc our released software inventory is going to code.gov - there's an inventory listing here (https://code.usgs.gov/software-release/inventory/raw/master/code.json)

      Sign in
      Official Source Code Archive
      code.usgs.gov

  6. Justin / Ben NGA - any thoughts on how MAGE would be used or integrated into AGOL?

  7. so, this is analogous to ESRI Collector?

  8. What's the URL to the GitHub repo?

    1. http://ngageoint.github.io/MAGE/
  9. Justin/Ben - are there locations where this tool does not function well, such as under deep veg canopy, or canyons?

    1. Benjamin Foster: It will still operate completely disconnected from any network - and sync to the server as soon as a connection occurs. So no - works globally in any environment.
  10. is it iOS only, or android too?

    1. Android as well
  11. can we add our own layers to the app before going out?

  12. Similar to what others are asking, what are the benefits of using MAGE vs Esri's Survey123 or Collector? Are there benefits of having it on our own system and not on a vendor's cloud system since they often are on arcgis.com links. Does MAGE allow more customization as opposed to using something like Survey123/Collector? Why is it important to support open source?
    1. Ben: MAGE allows full customization, and organically controlled by the org.  Free and open source. But is interoperable with ESRI
    2. Justin: MAGE combines both apps into one user interface. You can collect field observations and see the location of team during field events. We're after a very simple experience. Data can be exported and then uploaded to other tools. Collector and Survey123 are designed more for a GIS user audience. We have many users who have never used a GIS.
  13. Can you export the data to a Geonode w/o losing attributes?

  14. Hi Ben/Justin, I am interested in learning more about how you had planned for the user experience of the app. For example, what types of research did you do? Also, did you perform usability testing with your users during the development cycle? If yes, what types of techniques did you use? Thanks.

    1. Billy: started from ground-up, sitting with users. Some users came from apps like Survey123 - got to hear from users about what they liked and didn't like about those apps. Got user feedback while building the app. 
    2. Google and Apple have resources for creating mobile apps and web apps (where your thumb reaches on a screen, where buttons should go). Apps are built in native environments - Android and iOS. Usability is different on these platforms as users expect different things coming from an Android or iOS background.
  15. Can MAGE be a good use case for crowdsourcing information during disasters or any event from trusted users in your organization and others from the "public"? Can it be a good way to target certain crowds that you trust and already verify but still accessible outside of one's organization?

  16. Is MAGE connected to NOME (NGA Open Mapping Enclave)

  17. Im not clear on the difference between the two apps
    1. MAGE can use any Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) or Tile Map Service (TMS) for basemaps or overlays in the MAGE web browser, android, or iOS mobile apps. For more information about publishing OGC services from ArcGIS Online, please see the following reference: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/reference/ogc.htm
  18. so, this is analogous to ESRI Collector?

    1. MAGE provides users with a different experience from other field GIS data collection applications. MAGE is focused on a collaborative team-based situational awareness where users within a MAGE event are sharing their current location as a dynamic map icon. When a MAGE mobile user creates a new geographic feature using a point, line, or polygon with customized data fields and multimedia attachments, all users within that event receive a notification and will see that new feature created on the event map within the mobile app. MAGE users can also view the contact information for other mobile users in the event and can simply tap the user's email or phone number to instantly contact that user from their mobile device during an event. This MAGE user experience and real-time collaboration feature is ideal for disaster response and humanitarian assistance tasks where information is very time sensitive and needs to be accessible to everyone within an organization during an event, crisis, or field data collection task.
  19. What's the URL to the GitHub repo?

    1. http://ngageoint.github.io/MAGE/
  20. Justin/Ben - are there locations where this tool does not function well, such as under deep veg canopy, or canyons?

    1. Benjamin Foster: It will still operate completely disconnected from any network - and sync to the server as soon as a connection occurs. So no - works globally in any environment.
  21. is it iOS only, or android too?

    1. Android as well
    2. MAGE is developed as a native android and native iOS app to give both versions of MAGE a familiar and intuitive user experience for users of each mobile platform.
  22. can we add our own layers to the app before going out?

    1. Yes, you can add OGC Web Map Services, Tile Map Services, KML overlays, or OGC Geopackage datasets. Map and Tile services require a network connection on the device using the MAGE Mobile App. Data in OGC Geopackage format can be hosted on the MAGE server for download or opened directly by the MAGE mobile app and will be stored locally on the device for access without a network connection.
  23. Similar to what others are asking, what are the benefits of using MAGE vs Esri's Survey123 or Collector? Are there benefits of having it on our own system and not on a vendor's cloud system since they often are on arcgis.com links. Does MAGE allow more customization as opposed to using something like Survey123/Collector? Why is it important to support open source?
    1. To expand on the answer to question 2, MAGE provides a unique experience that combines elements from multiple field GIS data collection apps into a single app. Users have the ability to collect geospatial feature data in point, line, and polygon with attributes using custom forms that have the same dynamic options of any web survey form including text, checkbox, date, email, location, number, radio buttons, select, text area, and user select. Attributes selected in the form field can also control the map symbol or style information of the line or polygon geometry.
    2. All of the components required to run a MAGE system including a server with connection to mobile app users is completely free and open source and does not require any software licensing costs or subscriptions. Eliminating licensing costs enables a very significant cost savings when scaling an enterprise GIS capability to a large organization since many commercial GIS server products are licensed based on how many transactions, users, or servers are used. Instructions for deploying your own MAGE server can be found on our github page: https://github.com/ngageoint/mage
    3. NGA's open source software business model enables us to openly collaborate with government, industry, academic, and public partners and maximizes the return of our resource investments into capabilities like MAGE, MapCache, and Geopackage capabilities. Developing and using open source capabilities also allow us (and our mission partners) to have direct access to all source code to validate and ensure our applications meet information security and accuracy standards required for mission critical applications and services.
  24. Can you export the data to a Geonode w/o losing attributes?

    1. GeoNode will import MAGE data when using shapefile, KML, and CSV format export options from the MAGE web app. However, each format may not support all features when importing into another platform like GeoNode and this is often due to the format specificiation and not the platform. For example, the shapefile format does not allow field names longer than 10 characters and can’t store time in a date field and are limited to a maximum size of 2GB. NGA is actively investing in the research and development of the OGC Geopackage format, which is an open source geographic data standard based on SQLite. The same team behind NGA’s MAGE app also develops reference libraries for multiple platforms including Java, Android, iOS, Core Java, and JavaScript to provide a reference for improving interoperability between geographic data formats. For more information and access to NGA’s open source OGC Geopackage libraries, please visit our Github site: https://github.com/ngageoint/GeoPackage
  25. Hi Ben/Justin, I am interested in learning more about how you had planned for the user experience of the app. For example, what types of research did you do? Also, did you perform usability testing with your users during the development cycle? If yes, what types of techniques did you use? Thanks.

    1. Billy: started from ground-up, sitting with users. Some users came from apps like Survey123 - got to hear from users about what they liked and didn't like about those apps. Got user feedback while building the app. 
    2. Google and Apple have resources for creating mobile apps and web apps (where your thumb reaches on a screen, where buttons should go). Apps are built in native environments - Android and iOS. Usability is different on these platforms as users expect different things coming from an Android or iOS background.
  26. Can MAGE be a good use case for crowdsourcing information during disasters or any event from trusted users in your organization and others from the "public"? Can it be a good way to target certain crowds that you trust and already verify but still accessible outside of one's organization?

    1. MAGE supports hosting multiple events within a single server. Each MAGE event can be customized with specific basemaps, data collection forms, and user groups. Features created in MAGE also contain user attribution similar to how OpenStreetMap works. MAGE also allows creating teams of users that could represent trusted internal users and public users. When a new event is created on the MAGE server, you can simply assign teams to that event and any user within that team will have the ability to join the event and create observations an feature data.
  27. Is MAGE connected to NOME (NGA Open Mapping Enclave)

    1. The MAGE and NOME Programs at NGA work together to ensure data collected in each platform is interoperable. MAGE can use data exported from NOME using the OGC GeoPackage format and provides users with either a basemap or overlay of NOME data stored locally on the MAGE mobile app to enable offline use. NOME can also import geographic features including point, line, and polygon geometries with feature attributes from MAGE.
  28. Im not clear on the difference between the two apps

    1. NGA’s MapCache mobile app is a stand-alone app that does not require a server and provides users with the ability to download maps directly from Web Map Service or Tile Map Services and create point, line, and polygon features which are stored locally on the mobile device using OGC Geopackage format. When MAGE users in the field need to quickly download a basemap for offline use, they can simply open MapCache, zoom to the area of interest, enter the URL of the map service, enter the min and max zoom levels and download the map. Once the map is downloaded to a mobile device, MAGE will automatically recognize the dataset and can directly open from your phone for use as a basemap.
    2. MapCache can also be used by itself as a map reference and navigational aid and displays your current location on the map using the GPS on your mobile device. The advantage MapCache has over Google and Apple Maps is that you can add your own map services like the USGS Topographic or Shaded Relief Maps.
  29. Obvious application to USGS observations  of discrete (PCFF) and continuous (SVMAQ) environmental variables (NWIS modernization)

  30. MapCache allows you to create offline map tiles from any tile server - which you can then send to MAGE so you have a custom map background outside of Apple or Google

  31. "MAGE is not hosted or managed by NGA, in order to use it you will need to get access to your agency or managing entities server." -> can someone from the public host a server or is this just a way for us to collaborate with other entities after we push a server instance up?is not hosted or managed by NGA, in order to use it you will need to get access to your agency or managing entities server." -> can someone from the public host a server or is this just a way for us to collaborate with other entities after we push a server instance up?

    1. If you are a DoD or a U.S. Federal Government user, you can request access to an NGA hosted MAGE server through our Protected Internet Exchange (PiX) at the following site: https://www.pixtoday.net
    2. You can also access everything needed to deploy a new MAGE server at our gitub site: https://github.com/ngageoint/MAGE
    3. If you need assistance or have technical questions about deploying a MAGE server, you can contact our team at mage@nga.mil
  32. Can we download the MAGE app already? (I missed that part)

    1. Ben: yes... both Google Play and Apple App Store... just search MAGE by NGA and MapCache by NGA

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