Article Data Management

Release of AGS 4.1.1

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The AGS has long been associated with the method of exchanging ground investigation data.   The AGS data transfer format has evolved over the last 30-year, through 12 versions, since the release of AGS 1 in 1992.  In December 2020, AGS 4.1 was released, the culmination of decade’s worth of feedback and response from the previous version.  AGS 4.1 contained substantial enhancements to the data dictionary and represents the efforts of individuals from a wide variety of specialities within the sector.


After AGS 4.1 was released, it became apparent that further minor enhancements could be made to aid users.  The Data Management Working Group has, therefore, continued work since the December 2020 release and now AGS 4.1.1 is available for download from the AGS website.

Note that AGS 4.1.1 supersedes AGS 4.1.  The original AGS 4.1 document remains available for download but should only be used for academic purposes. AGS 4.1.1 is the latest version.

A full list of the changes in AGS 4.1.1 over the 4.1 version can be accessed on the AGS website ; a  registered login will be required.  The changes can be broadly summarized as follows:

  • A small number of data types have been adjusted to better serve their intended purpose. These are mainly in the CTRP, FGHI, RSCH and RUCS groups,
  • The removal of some obsolete and erroneous headings (GCHM_RDEV, PMTD_SEQ, WGPG_LIM and WGPG_ULIM),
  • Description changes to clarify the intended purpose of fields,
  • Adjustments to examples to aid consistency with the recommended data type. Examples have also been added to various headers,
  • Some headers now have a recommended unit defined where they did not have one specified,
  • Inconsistencies between the published Electronic Transfer of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Data document and the listings on the website have been addressed,
  • A total of 387 minor adjustments from AGS 4.1.

Members of the Working Group have also been involved in the development of the AGS Validator, which will replace the current versions.  In particular, the Working Group would like to acknowledge the efforts of Asitha Senanayake (Fugro) for his help in its development.  A beta version of the validator is available for download and can be used in line with the conditions outlined on the webpage.

The AGS Validator is a tool for checking AGS 4.1.1 files for compliance with the transfer rules and is associated with the AGS trade body rather than any specific software provider.  It also checks for compliance of earlier versions AGS 4.1, 4.0.4 and 4.0.3.  The AGS Validator does not check for accuracy of the data, only compliance with the rules. The Validator will also export AGS data to an Excel .xlsx spreadsheet format.

Many users of AGS 4.1.1 will still find the recording of the original launch webinar (08/12/2020) helpful due to the iterative nature of the changes.  Additionally, the documentation retains (and has expanded on) much of the specific guidance for many of the groups.  Users of AGS 4.1.1 will, hopefully, find these resources very helpful.

Questions and feedback are always welcomed from registered users on the discussion forums as this helps to ensure AGS remains relevant to the needs of our industry.