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IV.GLOBAL CHANGE DATA OBJECTIVES [[Column 1]] Introduction The working group recommended that: • A Global Information System Test be conducted, culminating in an assessment of global change parameters provided by the system in 1992; •A global change directory of satellite and in situ [[italicized]] data be complied that can be accessed through a digital network, which will also be useful for the Information System Test, and as a general purpose E-mail system; •An international agreement be sought from space agencies to carry instructions that measure atmospheric gases on spacecraft at every opportunity. Global Information System Test The report of the Earth Observation Panel in the report of the Pacific ISY Conference states: "Considerable work needs to be done in the coordination of collection, calibrations and distributions of Earth observations." We strongly agree and, to that end, we recommend a Global Information System Test (GIST) described below. Earth observations from satellites will form a central part of programs relating to global change. In order for these programs to meet their objectives, the collected data (observations) upon which they depend must be translated into the information which is required for decisionmaking. The working group's primary concern is with the "end-to-end" management of these data handling processes. In particular, the panel was struck with the importance of the processes by which the original data (observations), from several sources, are combined to reveal useful information. The working group stresses that global change science objectives should drive data processing, and so on, back to the design of the satellite sensor itself. The working group endorses the efforts of the CEOS Working Group on Data. It also recognizes that one of the prerequisites for broad scientific application cooperation worldwide is that it is necessary that standardization of products is achieved not only in data format but also in terms of geophysical measurement algorithms and quality control procedures. The working group recognizes the difficulties in translating the scientific objectives for global change monitoring into the requirements for data system management. These difficulties are related to: • The interdisciplinary[[italicized]] nature of the program; • The integration[[italicized]] of data sets; • The international[[italicized]] nature of this program - the requirements are for global[[italicized]] data. [[/column 1]] [[column 2]] These three conditions require that a global change data handling system be tied to many agencies, scientific disciplines, and countries. The working group notes the great size of the undertaking, but looks to further ISY reviews to help define, test, execute, and evaluate the end-to-end data system. The working group recommends that the focus be on projects which: • Affect the public, • Are international in scope, • Involve more than one discipline, and • Are doable/tractable. Global Change Directory and Network A directory of global change data sources would expedite the location of useful data for scientific research. Such a directory would contain a brief description of data sets, like a card catalog in a library. Information contained would include the data set name, source (i.e. satellite/sensor/program), archive location, author or science investigator, duration and geographic coverage, and other descriptive information. The directory would be in the form of an on-line computer data base that would accommodate rapid searches. Periodically, the directory would also be published in digital form for general distribution (e.g., on CD-ROM optical disk). The directory would contain those data sets of interest to global change and which are well documented and available through agency archives, but would not contain pricing information. The directory information would be exchanged internationally in common format so that each agency could maintain the common directory within its own catalog environment. An independent ISY-designated group would define the data sets which should be included in the directory, and ongoing efforts within the agencies would implement the directory. The on-line directory should be acceptable and demonstrable over an electronic network. Such a network would serve a number of functions such as: (1) providing electronic mail services as a means for better ISY communications between space agencies, data centers, and relevant institutions and laboratories; (2) correcting the agencies' directories and providing user access to those directories in order to demonstrate and utilize their capabilities; (3) conducting portions of the Global Information System Test over the network where appropriate. Implementation of the network should take advantage of existing networks, should be low bandwidth at first but with high connectivity, and should be used to transmit high information content data. It should use international protocols and standards as they become available through such bodies as the International Standards Organization. [[/column 2]] 15
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