The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is an open, networked community that brings together science, data and information technology practitioners. Participation in the ESIP Federation is beneficial because it provides an intellectual commons to expose, gather and enhance in-house capabilities in support of an organization’s own mandate. In this forum, practitioner work together on interoperability efforts across Earth and environmental science allowing self-governed and directed groups to emerge around common issues, ebbing and flowing as the need for them arises. These efforts catalyze connections across organizations, people, systems and data allowing for improved interoperability in distributed systems. By virtue of working in the larger community, ESIP members experience the network effect, which enables more coordinated cyberinfrastructure across domain-specific communities. Using this open, community-based, discipline and agency-neutral approach, the ESIP Federation has a 16-year track record of success and continued growth.
ESIP at length
The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is a broad-based, distributed community of data and information technology practitioners who come together to collaborate on coordinated interoperability efforts across Earth science communities. Participation in the ESIP Federation allows members to expose, gather and enhance their own in-house capabilities in support of an organization’s own mandates. Ultimately, these collaborations enhance the success of data interoperability efforts. The ESIP Federation has a 13-year track record of working on Earth science interoperability solutions that connect distributed and heterogeneous communities through the application of broad community technical expertise.
As an organization, the ESIP Federation optimizes collaboration through in-person meetings and virtually through collaboration space on the Web. Partners utilize these neutral forums for knowledge exchange and collaboration – an intellectual commons of sorts – where practitioners solve common problems. This community-based approach is discipline neutral, with the technology solutions supporting science by improving discovery, access, integration and interoperability.
Initially created by NASA in 1998, the ESIP Federation was formed in response to a National Research Council recommendation calling for the involvement of community stakeholders in the development of NASA’s EOSDIS as a critical element of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (http://www.gcrio.org/USGCRP/LaJolla/cover.html). Since its inception, the ESIP Federation has continually grown and attracted a diverse group of partners, now including more than 130 member organizations. The ESIP Federation’s membership is broad, including federal data centers, government research laboratories, research universities, education resource providers, technology developers, and various nonprofit and commercial enterprises.
As a community-driven organization, the ESIP Federation is an independent forum for addressing topics of interest to many in the Earth science data and technology community. Participation in the ESIP Federation is open to organizations that are involved with Earth science data and who wish to work across communities to expose, gather and enhance in-house capabilities in support of their organization’s own data management programs that promote their broader agency mission.
In 2011, the ESIP Federation leadership did a mid-course review and at that time fleshed out additional priorities (“2020 Vision Pillars”) for the Federation. These Pillars are:
- ESIP is the trusted community authority that supports the integration of science and data into mainstream use.
- ESIP achieves sustainability through diversification, global partnerships and partner recognition.
- ESIP provides the Earth science informatics intellectual commons to drive innovation.
- ESIP leads the development of science data information professionals.