A coalition of representatives from government, industry and software companies worldwide has collaborated with the aim of producing a definitive data transfer format for the geotechnical and geoenvironmental industry. The Data Interchange for Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (DIGGS) committee will release the first version of DIGGS in 2008 which will include standards for transfer of project, location, sample, field and laboratory test and result, quality control, deep foundation, and borehole geophysics data. DIGGS provides a standardized means of geotechnical and geoenvironmental data exchange between disparate databases. There are several significant advantages to the user of DIGGS including performing software-automated data checks, exchanging data between databases within an organization and with external organizations, and merging databases and incorporating software into an integrated data management system. DIGGS facilitates the seamless flow of geotechnical and geoenvironmental data from point of generation, through project usage, to storage, and then reuse.
DIGGS utilizes Geography Markup Language (GML) compliant eXtensible Markup language (XML) schema and will allow ‘reference values’ or ‘pick lists’ to be referenced from any source. The DIGGS model is extensive and with the flexibility of XML can bring together data from many existing formats. The format can utilize style-sheets and tools to show data in many of the well-know formats including: SEDD, EDMANS, AGS, COSMOS, EZ EDD, and others. Several DIGGS compatible tools will be available at the time of the release of DIGGS version 1.0. Many geotechnical and geoenvironmental software vendors are already including DIGGS translators in their software.