Community for Data Integration (CDI)

About the Community for Data Integration

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Community for Data Integration (CDI) represents a dynamic aggregation of multiple communities of practice, focused on the advancement of scientific data and information management as well as integration capabilities across the USGS and external organizations to enhance earth science research. Through partnerships and Working Groups, the CDI leads the development of data management tools and practices, cyber infrastructure, collaboration tools, and training in support of scientists as well as technology specialists throughout the project and data lifecycles.

In fulfilling its mission as the leading science and information agency providing reliable scientific information to understand the Earth, the USGS works towards ensuring scientific data are adequately described and appropriately accessible to scientists, collaborators, and the general public. To facilitate these efforts, the USGS established the Council for Data Integration in 2009. By 2010, the Council had transformed into the Community for Data Integration when staff members pursued data integration efforts less formally through a community of practice approach.

The CDI’s purpose is to:

  • Advance understanding of Earth systems through enhanced use of data and information including the associated tools and techniques
  • Provide a forum for people doing work with data integration to come together to share ideas as well as learn new skills and techniques
  • Advance overall USGS capabilities with data and information by increasing visibility of the work of many people throughout the USGS

In order to support many of the innovative ideas in the community, the CDI supports community Working Groups that form around common interests, help address challenges, and identify solutions that enable data integration efforts. Furthermore, the CDI has held an annual CDI Request for Proposals process to award seed funds for projects that focus on data integration for interdisciplinary research, innovative data management, and potentially cutting edge technology.

CDI Science Support Framework diagram

The CDI Science Support Framework [pdf] provides the operational foundation and conceptual architecture that illustrates how CDI activities contribute to Bureau-level data integration efforts.

The CDI Science Support Framework (SSF)

In 2012, the CDI Coordinators developed a Science Support Framework (SSF) that categorizes the activities and processes through which research data flow and upon which the CDI operates. It is these categories that provide the focus and a framework for coordination and integration of current and future CDI-funded projects.

Data assets flow vertically through the SSF from a base of monitoring, assessment, and research through the Science Data Lifecycle processes, with the aid of applications, Web services, and semantics. These information products are the primary means by which the USGS contributes to knowledge and understanding of the Earth's physical and biological systems. These flows are managed within the context of the individual science projects that they support.

The horizontal elements in the SSF represent the “what” of the CDI: products and tools, the things that mediate and contribute to the discovery and effective use of scientific data in systematic research.

The vertical elements in the SSF represent the “how” of the CDI: the processes, the implementation of standards and best practices, and the interactions among people, data, and technology necessary to achieve data integration.

Search for current and past CDI Products and Publications in the context of the CDI Science Support Framework.

Kevin Gallagher and Linda Gundersen posing with Heather Henkel and Roland Viger presented with Star Awards. 2011 CDI Awards presented to Heather Henkel and Roland Viger for outstanding contributions to the Community.
Photo credit: Sterling Powers

CDI Awards

The CDI Awards have been presented to community members for outstanding vision in guiding USGS data integration activities either through leadership or product innovation. The awardees' contributions provide a high-energy forum to address on-the-ground data integration needs of the community and partners. Through their direct involvement in CDI, recognition and support from community members and partners has flourished and truly special or unique products have come to fruition.

Contact Us

The CDI is composed of members and Working Groups from across the USGS and external organizations.

For general inquiries, contact