AGS Checkers, DIGGS and the future world of Data Transfer

The Bentley Geotechnical Information Management team is taking a leading role in developing OpenSource toolkits for AGS and DIGGS and are retiring our AGS checkers to help support these initiatives.

We have been a big supporter of transferring geotechnical data in a standardized format since the start of our involvement in the UK AGS format committee in 1997 and the US DIGGS committee in 2005. 

Our hard work and perseverance have recently been recognized, with one team member getting an AGS award in 2020 and a total of 3 AGS Awards this year.

Our work within the committees is not just about “Commas and Quotes” or “Pointy Brackets”.   The IT industry has changed a lot since 1997 and we are again positioning ourselves to lead the industry forward to take advantage of recent changes.

OpenSource Toolkits

The rapid rise of OpenSource solutions, using tools like Python, has been accelerating over the last five years.

Bentley is no stranger to the OpenSource community as it launched iModel.js in October 2018.  iModel.js is an open-source initiative to improve the accessibility, for both visualization and analytical visibility, of infrastructure digital twins.  https://www.bentley.com/en/about-us/news/2018/october/17/open-source-library-imodeljs

AGS Validator

We spotted an opportunity in late 2020 to be involved with a project being developed on GitHub by Asitha Senanayake from Fugro.  Asitha was working on an open-source library to validate AGS 4.1 files and we linked up with him and Tony Daly from Amageo to create a development library that has been reviewed, tested and ported over to an AGS GitLab open-source repository. 

The AGS validator project is now in Beta and provides the industry with a singe source of truth for the validity of AGS 4.0.3, 4.0.4 and 4.1 files.  The library provides core validation and can be used within open-source or commercial software, via a command line or a desktop App. The libraries and Desktop App can be downloaded and used free of charge.

To support the adoption of a single AGS validator, we will be withdrawing our gINT and AGS Checkers at the end of the Beta period.

DIGGS Validator

Working on the AGS Validator project has been a positive experience and are also taking a leading role in a similar project for DIGGS.

PyDIGGS is a DIGGS toolkit project being led by Xin Peng from Aardman and Associates, part of the Tetra Tech group.  The project has started to deliver a set of open-source tools for validation and conversion and are working on the testing elements of this project and looking to migrate the work we did with our DIGGS Feedback Tool into this library.

This toolkit will provide a single source of truth for the validity of DIGGS files and help software companies produce and consume DIGGS data.

API Development

We are excited to see our long term goal of having geotechnical data work like HTML becoming a reality. 

When you open a browser and view a website, you don’t get an HTML file emailed to you, it is just there on the screen.  The magic is happening in the background not via your inbox.

Standardized and validated data is the necessary start of this process as it allows the magic to start. 

The recent launch of our OpenGround Development Network documentation has created a lot of interest and some very cool Apps that can stream data from OpenGround into multiple applications.  We continue to grow this network of developers with our APIs and Software Development Toolkits (SDKs) and we look forward to plugging these two great OpenSource initiatives into the OpenGround ecosystem

 

Further Information

AGS Validator Download– https://www.ags.org.uk/data-format/ags-validator/

AGS Validator OpenSource Project - https://gitlab.com/ags-data-format-wg/ags-python-library

DIGGS OpenSource Project - https://github.com/DIGGSml/diggs_validator

OpenGround Developer Network Documentation - https://communities.bentley.com/products/geotechnical1/w/openground-wiki/53843/developer-resources

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