About the WDC for Geomagnetism, Edinburgh

The Geomagnetism team of the British Geological Survey (BGS) hosts the World Data Centre for Geomagnetism (Edinburgh). It is a regular member of the World Data System (WDS) an affiliated body of the International Science Council (ISC).

The WDC has a comprehensive set of digital geomagnetic data as well as indices of geomagnetic activity supplied from a worldwide network of magnetic observatories.

Misson statement

The mission of the World Centre for Geomagnetism, Edinburgh is to collate, store, and distribute data, and associated metadata, from observations of the Earth's magnetic field. Primarily this consists of definitive geomagnetic data from a worldwide network of magnetic observatories, magnetic indices, and records of magnetic surveys. We aim to make these data openly available for the use of scientists and the public, and to preserve them for future generations.


We are an active WDC engaging with the geomagnetic community to grow our data collections. We send out an annual 'call for data' to operating observatories and work closely with WDS network member INTERMAGNET to ingest data from their associated observatories. We maintain a list of observatory information on behalf of IAGA Division V - Observatories working group . We aim to improve the metadata associated with observatory data and are working with the geomagnetism community, INTERMAGNET and EPOS to advance this. We aim to improve the ways in which our data are available by developing web service applications, such as our Data Portal .

List of publications, posters & presentations on WDC activities


The World Data Centre (WDC) for Geomagnetism was established in the United Kingdom in 1966. This was operated by the Institute of Geological Science, which later became the British Geological Survey, in Herstmonceux, Sussex. The WDC moved to its current location in Edinburgh in 1977. This was part of the World Data Centre System established by ICSU.

In 2007 BGS agreed to take over responsibility for the Geomagnetic Data Master Catalogue, containing digital minute and hourly mean observatory data, formerly hosted by Danish Meteorological Institute at the WDC for Geomagnetism (Copenhagen) . These datasets were transferred to Edinburgh and were incorporated into the WDC for Geomagnetism (Edinburgh).

In 2008, the International Council of Science (now the International Science Council) created the World Data System (WDS) replacing the previous World Data Centre system and the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical Data Analysis Services. The WDC for Geomagnetism, Edinburgh was accepted as a Regular Member in 2012.