Samples dot Earth

connecting data to the physical world


The shared master list of agents and the authority for their namespaces.


The source of IGSNs for a researcher's domain. When registering samples you need to locate an agent to use.


Any 1st or 3rd party who indexes some set of agents and provides discovery and search.


A very rough draft of documents providing overview on some topics related to a test sprint can be found at: provider, publishing and aggregator info.

FAIR Samples

The FAIR principles are typically applied to data but they have very close parallels to goals with physical samples. IGSNs are persistent identifiers that can play a vital role in how physicals samples are connected to other research objects.

Simple Architecture

The IGSN architecture is exploring leveraging basic web architecture and structured data on the web to scale its services. is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond. can be extended with vocabularies such as DCAT, SOSA, etc. IGSN is looking at leveraging JSON-LD with W3C and OGC vocabularies to express physicals samples in a web architecture context.

Such an approach also allows us to leverage the rich ecosystem of tools developers currently leverage for JSON. Additionally a grow suite of tools and guides specifically for geosciences and structured data on the web are under development.

                "@context": {
                  "@vocab": ""
                "@type": "Dataset",
                "name": "Removal of organic carbon by natural bacterioplankton 
                communities as a function of pCO2 from laboratory 
                experiments between 2012 and 2016",
                "description": "This dataset includes results of laboratory experiments which measured 
                dissolved organic carbon (DOC) usage by natural bacteria in seawater at different pCO2 
                levels.Included in this dataset are; bacterial abundance, total organic
                carbon (TOC), what DOC was added to the experiment, target pCO2 level.The 
                experiments were conducted between 2012 and 2016 during the R/V Kilo Moana cruise
                KM1416, at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences (BIOS), and the University of 
                Santa Barbara."
                "url": "",
                "version": "2013-11-21",
                "keywords": ["ocean acidification", "OA", "Dissolved Organic Carbon",
                "DOC", "bacterioplankton respiration", "pCO2", "carbon dioxide",
                "elevated pCO2", "oceans"],
                "license": "CC-BY-4.0"