International Real-time Magnetic Observatory Network

Welcome to INTERMAGNET - the global network of observatories, monitoring the Earth's magnetic field. At this site you can find data and information from geomagnetic observatories around the world.

Services About Us


About Us

The INTERMAGNET programme exists to establish a global network of cooperating digital magnetic observatories, adopting modern standard specifications for measuring and recording equipment, in order to facilitate data exchanges and the production of geomagnetic products in close to real time.

Where local support is lacking it is a further goal of INTERMAGNET to aid in the establishment of new observatories or to provide assistance with the upgrade and maintenance of existing facilities. Supplemental to this aim is the promotion of modern standards for measuring and recording the Earth's magnetic field. INTERMAGNET is constituted from existing groups whose primary task is one of geomagnetic measurement.




INTERMAGNET has its roots in discussions held at the Workshop on Magnetic Observatory Instruments in Ottawa, Canada, in August 1986 and at the Nordic Comparison Meeting in Chambon La Foret, France, in May 1987. A pilot scheme between the United States and British Geological Surveys was described in the sessions of Division V of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy at the 19th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Vancouver, Canada, in August 1987. This scheme used the GOES East satellite to successfully transfer geomagnetic data between the two organisations. INTERMAGNET was founded soon after in order to extend the network of observatories communicating in this way. In order to direct the work and oversee the operations of INTERMAGNET, an Executive Council and an Operations Committee were set up. The first Geomagnetic Information Node (GIN) was established in 1991, the first CD-ROM/DVD was also published in 1991.

Vision and Mission

The INTERMAGNET vision is of
A global, real-time, permanent geomagnetic observatory network, which is recognized as a key Earth observation system and which provides data that serves scientific research into the Earth, from its deep interior to space, and supports operational services benefiting society.
The INTERMAGNET mission is to
Establish and maintain an organization with a worldwide membership drawn from institutes operating geomagnetic observatories that is dedicated to building a network of geomagnetic observatories supplying consistent data, with the geographical coverage, quality, and timeliness of delivery required to meet the evolving needs of research and applied science.
The INTERMAGNET strategy is to
  • Set mandatory standards for measurement, data processing, formats and transmission for network membership, and to support geomagnetic observatory operators in achieving these standards by providing technical assistance.
  • Provide advice on the establishment of new observatories, to help to co-ordinate initiatives taken by member institutes and so to optimize the scientific value of the global network
  • Support data services, as a member of the World Data System, by maintaining an infrastructure for geomagnetic observatory data collection and dissemination
  • Communicate with data users to promote use of INTERMAGNET data and to understand their requirements, feeding this information into the definitions of operating standards
  • Work closely with the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy and other organizations concerned with magnetic observatory operations
  • Maintain a dialog with technology providers to take advantage of new developments in instrumentation and data acquisition and to advise them of user demands for data to inform their system developments

Principles, Conditions, and Policies

INTERMAGNET is operated according to principles and conditions which are accepted as necessary and desirable for maintaining a service of rapid magnetic observatory data exchanges for the international scientific community and for commercial users.

  1. INTERMAGNET is a non-exclusive program of worldwide data exchange between magnetic observatories.
  2. An INTERMAGNET aim is the establishment and maintenance of observatories in remote areas where local support is lacking.
  3. INTERMAGNET encourages the establishment and maintenance of digital observatories in developing countries, with the involvement and enhancement of local science and technology.
  4. Each participating country/institution is expected to bear the costs of its participation in INTERMAGNET.
  5. Data will be transmitted from observatories or operating institutes to regional geomagnetic information nodes (GINs) by satellites, computer networks or by other near real-time means, using standard INTERMAGNET formats.
  6. Regional geomagnetic information nodes will exchange data and data products globally as rapidly as appropriate, and will maintain data files for all contributing observatories for a period commensurate with the immediate usefulness of the product.
  7. The collected geomagnetic data will be made available in a timely fashion to participating observatories on media and in formats approved by the INTERMAGNET Executive Council.
  8. The collected data will be made available to the scientific community on media and in formats approved by the INTERMAGNET Executive Council. The data are supplied on the condition that they are not used for commercial gain (media, transcription and other costs may be charged to the user).
  9. The INTERMAGNET Executive Council recognizes the value to commerce of geomagnetic data and derived products which are available in near real time, and accepts the right of participating institutions to recover costs for services and to levy charges where possible and as necessary. Participating institutions will undertake to safeguard the interests of fellow participants, concerning the commercial usage of their data.
  10. Each INTERMAGNET GIN will provide annually to each participating institution or observatory a statement of data received by the GIN and of its data supplied by the GIN to users.
  11. Participating institutes will cooperate to facilitate the production of globally representative data products, such as the official IAGA indices.