OCTOPUS is an OGC compliant web-enabled database that allow users to visualise, query, and download geochronological data along with associated geospatial (vector and raster) data layers. It is based on open source software and allows for various levels of integration. For example data stored in the database can be visualised via a custom web interface but also via desktop GIS applications that support OGC data access protocols. OCTOPUS can also directly export data to various formats, including Google Earth KLM and ESRI shapefile.

OCTOPUS was made possible via a grant from the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and the project has also received (and continues to receive) substantial in-kind support from the University of Wollongong's Information Technology Services unit. The database was officially launched in March 2018, with the submission of a discussion paper to ESSD. Over the next five years, OCTOPUS will be supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH), resulting in an upgrade to the web interface, and additional geochronological data collections.

The above word clouds show the list of institutions whose members (researchers and students) requested data from OCTOPUS as at 07 February 2019 — roughly one year after launch —, and their stated intended use of the data. Size of words is proportional to number of requests.

A description of OCTOPUS and how to access the data, is provided in our ESSD publication. The database is also available via AuScope’s Discovery Portal and via Greg Balco’s ICE-D x OCTOPUS browser interface.