The concept of transferring geotechnical data between all industry parties in electronic format is widely used internationally. As computer technology has become an integral component of the geotechnical industry, producers and users of geotechnical information have adopted digital database systems to store, manage, analyse and present their data. Currently, geotechnical data is typically shared in hard copy form due to the general lack of compatibility between the database systems employed by each industry user.
The initial concept for the transference of geotechnical data in an electronic format was first identified and established a number of years ago in the UK by the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS – http://www.ags.org.uk). Since its initial release in 1992, the AGS format has undergone a series of successive updates that have reflected the needs of the industry. The AGS format is now in its Fourth Edition and is widely used internationally. By basing the New Zealand version of the Format closely on the AGS (UK) Format, benefit is gained from the experience and lessons learned over the last 20 years as the Format has developed.
This edition is intended to introduce a set of file format protocols that are compatible with the standard AGS file format in the international arena, but are tailored to the local requirements of the New Zealand geotechnical industry. The adoption of a standardised data transfer file format provides a significantly improved ability to access geotechnical data and will allow greater utilisation of the information obtained.