The AGS Data Format organisation is going through a period of change within AGS to ensure it can meet the demands of a digitalised industry. The way it is currently supported has to change. Jackie Bland explains…
The AGS Data Format stands as one of the most useful digital standards ever developed for our industry. It’s the product of collaboration between like-minded technical experts who all saw the need to share site investigation data in a standard way between their different organisations, irrespective of the software and people involved. Yet for many its purpose is unknown or not understood.
The AGS Data Format saw a group of enthusiasts come together with no budget and little dedicated time to create something that has become a defacto standard within the UK Site Investigation industry. Expanding on its UK success, it has been adopted abroad in countries such as Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. It anticipating the demands of digital construction (BIM) when it was created 25 years ago.
Throughout its life it has been maintained by the volunteers of the AGS Data Management Committee, with little or no budget towards its upkeep. Today we are rebuilding the technical infrastructure that sustains the Data Format to ensure that it will stand for the next 25 years. To support this invaluable work we have taken the decision to put it on a more sustainable footing financially so that we can safeguard it into the future.
The AGS publication ‘Electronic Transfer of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Data’ (AGS data format versions 1-4.0) has, to date, been maintained using a one-time fee for registered users. As the AGS Format’s use has grown, the process of responding to queries, extending the format and maintaining the website has become costly and time consuming which needed to be addressed.
While the publication itself will still be completely free to download and use. The AGS has decided that an annual fee should be payable as a contribution to its upkeep for those wishing to make regular use of data transferred in this way and to interact with the Data Management Group when proposing new codes and needing answers to queries.
From 2018, the annual fee for AGS member organisations is £50 + VAT and annual fee for non-member organisations is £150 + VAT.
From April 2018, the existing list of Registered Companies on the website will be cleared and only those organisations and individuals who have paid the fee for that year will be included in the revised list. A logo and certificate will be supplied annually by AGS to those who are registered for inclusion on their website, email and social media feeds to demonstrate their registration and involvement.
We would ask that, if you are a consumer of AGS data, you check that any company supplying you with AGS data is shown on the list of Registered Users.
The benefits of being registered for AGS Data include:
• Ability to use the AGS Format for any application
• DOC and RTF versions of the Publication
• A copy of and the ability to use the AGS Data Logo on your SI reports and logs
• The AGS Data Dictionary in CSV or Excel format
• Company listing on the Registered list
Visit the AGS Data Format website here to become a registered user of AGS Data Format or email firstname.lastname@example.org.