USGS Interoperability Assessment

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The rigorous testing of USGS web services performed in the Interoperability Assessment Project helped us identify and correct shortcomings of our implementation of OGC standards, and highlighted areas in which to improve the user experience with our web services.  As a result of the project, our users can include the improved USGS services more easily in their decisions making and operational activities.

                       Glenn Guempel (U.S. Geological Survey, National Geospatial Program), 2014


USGS data services get over 1 million hits per day, with data being used by a range of communities at the state, county, city, and other levels for a variety of purposes (science, decision-support, etc). There was USGS interest to investigate whether the USGS data services are fully compliant with relevant OGC standards, and if there are opportunities to improve how the data is being served to the different communities.

In this project, OGC conducted the USGS Interoperability Assessment Initiative with the goal of assessing if OGC standards as implemented in USGS servers are meeting users requirements.


OGC advanced the following activities:


  1. Compliance Testing: OGC tested USGS Web services against the OGC Compliance Engine. OGC provided recommendations  back to the service providers. Modification of the test scripts and feedback was provided to the OGC compliance development team.

  2. Developing of use cases and investigation of usability with communities of use: OGC issued a Call for Participation (CFP) for a Virtual Exercise. OGC analyzed the participant’s experiences when interacting with USGS data services and products. OGC extracted use cases and provided recommendation to USGS.

  3. Development of a CAT 3.0 test suite. USGS was interested in getting started with the development of CAT 3.0 test. It was created in GitHub.


The wrap-up meeting took place at the TC in Calgary on September 17th at 11:00 MDT.


The final report provides more details about this activity.

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