News Data Management

Version 3.1 of the AGS Format to be retired from 8th March 2018

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An earlier version of the digital data transfer format used to transfer ground investigation, laboratory testing and monitoring data rapidly between contributing parties to a geotechnical or geoenvironmental project will cease to be supported from 8th March 2018.

Version 3.1a of the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS) digital data transfer format, the so called ‘AGS Format’, was published in March 2005 and has been widely adopted within the ground engineering industry.

In May 2010 version 4 of the AGS Format was published, and has been gaining users and popularity since then. The latest 4.0.4 update was released in February 2017 in response to new laboratory industry standards and updated UK practice, and contains many features that are not available in the old 3.1 version.

The maintenance and updating of the AGS Format is carried out by a working group of volunteers. The decision to retire AGS 3.1 has been taken in order to allow the working group more time for future developments, and to speed up the response times to queries posted on the website.

Jackie Bland, Leader of the AGS Data Management Working Group said:

“This does not mean that industry colleagues will have to stop using the AGS 3.1 format, but it simply means that the working group will no longer respond to queries on 3.1 or its associated codes.

This should free up time to provide a swifter response to queries related to AGS4, which should now be the go-to choice for the efficient transfer of ground investigation, laboratory testing and monitoring data.”

Notes to Editors:
In 1991 the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS) set up, and subsequently has supported, a Working Group to establish and maintain a digital data transfer format.

This format, known to many simply as ‘AGS Format’, has now been generally accepted as the most appropriate means to transfer ground investigation, laboratory testing and monitoring data rapidly between the contributing parties to a project that involves geotechnical or geoenvironmental elements.

Since its first publication in 1991 the AGS Format has become the de-facto industry standard for the reliable transfer of ground engineering data in the UK and has been adopted and adapted for use around the globe, including Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia.
The AGS Format enables transfer of geotechnical and geoenvironmental data in a digital form. It allows for the standardised representation of factual information, focusing on field and laboratory test results and monitoring data. AGS Format data are typically generated by a ground investigation specialist, a testing laboratory or on-site drilling crews and technicians and then shared with all project team members, be they designers, or contractors carrying out construction.

This team then uses the data without time consuming and expensive re-keying of data with the associated potential for errors or incomplete data entry.

Following completion of the project, the AGS Format data is easily archived and passed into the asset management sphere, for retrieval at a later date without requiring knowledge of the software used in its generation, or a requirement to have access to that software.

For more information contact:
Katie Kennedy
Association of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Specialists
Forum Court, Office 205
Devonshire House Business Centre
29-31 Elmfield Road
Kent BR1 1LT

Tel: +44 (0)20 8658 8212