Data Management

Data Catalogs

Data Catalogs and Portals are places where one can search for data. While Repositories physically hold datasets, Data Catalogs and Portals use metadata to provide searchable directories for data. Submitting your metadata to Data Portals and Catalogs makes them more visible and more likely to be used by others.

USGS Metadata Catalog Requirement

USGS Metadata Catalog Requirement

USGS policy requires that metadata for approved USGS scientific data must be deposited in and shared through the USGS Science Data Catalog (SDC).

Visit the SDC

USGS Science Data Catalog 

Screenshot of the USGS Science Data Catalog

Screenshot of the USGS Science Data Catalog

The USGS Science Data Catalog provides seamless access to USGS research and monitoring data from across the nation. Users have the ability to search, browse, or use a map-based interface to discover USGS data.


U.S. Department of the Interior Data Catalog

The Department of the Interior (DOI) aggregates metadata from USGS, as well as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, to populate a catalog at

This catalog in turn supplies metadata from all of DOI to

" is the home of the U.S. Government's open data.

You can find Federal, state and local data, tools, and resources to conduct research, build apps, design data visualizations, and more." (From is the signature initiative of the broader Open Data effort, designed to more effectively share U.S. governmental data. Agencies, including USGS, are making concerted efforts to effectively describe and share their data resources, and integrate them across agency boundaries. A range of communities available in provide thematic and focused views of select topics.


What the U.S. Geological Survey Manual Requires: 

The USGS Survey Manual Chapter 502.7 – Fundamental Science Practices: Metadata for USGS Scientific Information Products Including Data states that metadata for approved scientific data must be deposited in and shared through the USGS Science Data Catalog (  Creators of these metadata must ensure that records are developed in a format (for example, xml) accepted by clearinghouses or repositories, such as the USGS Science Data Catalog.