ESIP and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) share an interest in developing knowledge and advancing dialogue about the evolution of science data and its impact—both across scientific communities and among segments of the public who share an interest in the topic. To highlight and share stories about the importance of Earth and space science data, ESIP has a regular feature on the AGU Blog GeoSpace. Posts in this series showcase data facilities and data scientists; explain how Earth and space science data is collected, managed and used; explore what it tells us about the planet; and delve into the challenges and issues involved in managing and sharing data. Posts are listed below and can also be found on GeoSpace.

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The Geoscience Papers of the Future: a modern publication strategy for data management and scientific publication—August 4, 2016
By Xuan Yu and Leah Dodd

Many data used in scientific papers are not accessible by reading the papers, which makes it difficult to understand and reuse. To effectively communicate data results and preserve observations, simulations, and predictions, the Geoscience Papers of the Future was launched in 2015.
Predicting the export and fate of global ocean net primary production: The EXPORTS—July 20, 2016
By Ivona Cetinić and the EXPORTS Science Definition Team

Earth’s carbon cycle is heavily influenced by ecological processes in the ocean. The quantification and understanding of the intricate relationships between carbon dioxide and ocean ecosystems, and what effects these have on the present and future conditions on Earth, is one of the greatest challenges in oceanography.


Meeting report: 2016 EarthCube All Hands Meeting—July 19, 2016
By Jamie Ryan

More than 130 geoscientists and cyberinfrastructure researchers beat the early June heat wave in Denver by spending their time planning the next stages of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) EarthCube e-infrastructure project.


Can a commons design-pattern lexicon show open-science to its destination?—June 23, 2016
By Bruce Caron

After more than a decade of discussion and argument, the international open-science effort is looking for a roadmap to that single destination where it can consolidate its gains and allow science to reboot itself as entirely open. Several groups are calling for an integrative scholarly commons, where open-science objects—from ideas to published results—can be grown, shared, curated, and mined for new knowledge.


Looking at Land Use and Informal Settlement in Dar es Salaam—June 6, 2016

Contributed by the NASA SEDAC at CIESIN


A new data set from the Urban Spatial Data Collection of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Application Center (SEDAC) operated by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) depicts urban land use and informal settlements for the years 1982, 1992, 1998 and 2002 in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


GeoDeepDive: Bringing dark data to light—May 31, 2016
By Leandra Marshall

GeoDeepDive is a “digital library of the future,” and consists of a cyberinfrastructure to find and manage documents from content providers (such as various digital literature databases) through a computing application that can “read” and repeatedly add information to each document. GeoDeepDive is able to prepare documents so they can be read by machines and used to aid large-scale text and data mining activities.


Flyover Country—The next generation field-based research tool—May 25, 2016
By The EarthCube National Office

In December 2015, with the support of a National Science Foundation (NSF) EAGER grant, the Flyover Country team of Amy Myrbo (University of Minnesota Research Associate), Shane Loeffler (2015 B.S. graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth), Reed McEwan (University of Minnesota M.S. in Geology and Software Engineering) and Sijia Ai (University of Minnesota), launched Flyover Country as a geosciences mobile app for air travelers, road warriors and hikers.


Scientific data manager: A career deserving of better recognition—May 24, 2016
By Shelley Stall

Within the scientific data lifecycle, from data acquisition, to publication and preservation, the data manager (also known as a data steward) plays an increasingly important and often unappreciated role. This role is growing in importance due to the rapid growth in the volume of data—unlike the funds to manage it—the need for interoperability of these data, the new regulations regarding open access and long-term preservation. Data managers are driven by the dictum and aspiration that well documented, citable and preserved data is an investment in science, one that is critical to future discoveries.


Data science for collaboration and community-buildingMay 20, 2016
By Tom Narock

Many of us are interested in social networking sites like Facebook. In addition to cat videos and food pictures, it’s a great way to keep up to date and engage with friends. Recently, it’s even become a way to share and engage in science. Yet, there’s another, sometimes overlooked, aspect of social networks that can contribute to better science—analysis of the underlying network itself. In regards to Facebook, I’m often asking, How many of my friends know each other? How many connections separate two friends who don’t know each other?


Changing science culture by contributing to open science–May 5, 2016
By Bob Downs

Like other scientific communities, the Earth and space science community has an opportunity to improve. Open science and similar concepts, such as scientific transparency and reproducible science, have become prominent recently because they are recognized as valuable attributes for science practice. While there appears to be increasing awareness of the importance of such concepts, changes in behavior can take more time and may require incentives.


April Earth Science Data Digest–April 29, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

Three stories published during April describe the ways remotely sensed data and machine learning are changing how Earth is studied and understood; while a fourth shows the beauty of our planet through photos captured by one of the satellites imaging the Earth.


Data from the masses: Crowdsourcing and citizen science enhance the scientific process–April 22, 2016
By Leslie Hsu and Sophia B. Liu

Personal devices like cell phones, tablets and laptops are making it easier than ever for the general public to contribute important data and analysis to a wide range of scientific research projects. In turn, scientific research is enhanced and accelerated by these relatively new and potentially massive streams of data. This data stream can come from Crowdsourcing or Citizen Science (the pair of terms is commonly abbreviated as CCS). Citizen Science uses volunteers from the general public to further science, while Crowdsourcing obtains needed services, ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people for distributed problem solving.


Standards dramatically advance streamflow and flood forecasting in the U.S. and elsewhere–April 19, 2016
By David Arctur

This is a story about how water data standards, computational hard work, high-performance computing, serendipity and synergy led to an operational capability for nationwide forecasting of streamflow and flooding at high-resolution, in near-real-time. This has been evolving for several years now, but has gone into hyper-drive in just the last couple years.


The University of Washington’s eScience Institute, a unique environment for geospatial data science education–April 12, 2016
By Anthony Arendt

Earth scientists can choose from an ever-increasing array of datasets when they set out to study our changing planet. Every year, advances in remote sensing and sensor network technologies increase in resolution, streaming data to us on demand, in real time. If you’re like me, you find this new era of discovery exhilarating but also overwhelming. How will I ever find the time to learn the software and cloud technologies needed to keep up with this flow of new information?


New findings from the New Horizons mission show Pluto is ‘really crazy’–March 18, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

Whether or not you believe Pluto should be called a planet, you should still be awed by the initial findings from the data the spacecraft New Horizons collected during its flyby of the dwarf planet last July. The seven science instruments aboard New Horizons gathered nearly 50 gigabits of data on the spacecraft’s digital recorders. Much of this data is still streaming back to Earth, but preliminary data and observations were published this week in the journal Science.


Problematics for science leadership in a data-rich, open-science world–March 7, 2016
By Bruce Caron

Across three and a half centuries the academy has built a solid reputation system that informs credentials for science leadership. As global science moves into an open data-, open-access mode, what changes might occur to this system? In the future how will the academy recognize and reward great scientific works and career achievements?


Open data: Creating a culture of transparency and reproducibility in science–March 3, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

An article published Thursday in Science urges stakeholders in the field sciences—funders, researchers, publishers and data repositories—to promote open, reproducible science through the sharing of all data and materials. Allowing research results to be replicated and data to be reused fosters innovation, high-quality research and public confidence in science.


Ignite@AGU: Setting geoscience on fire–February 26, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

The popular science storytelling event Ignite@AGU returned to the 2015 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA last December. Sponsored by the NASA Applied Sciences Program and held in partnership with the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) and AGU’s Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI) Focus Group, the event featured 13 scientists sharing ideas and stories that made the audience laugh, cry and better understand our world.


How the VIIRS “Blue Marble” image came about–February 18, 2016
By Norman Kuring

NASA Goddard oceanographer Norman Kuring explains the creation of the 2012 ‘Blue Marble’ image, an incredibly detailed, true-color image of Earth that’s featured in a new series of U.S. Postal Service space-themed stamps.


Turning climate data into art–February 10, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

Artist and scientist Jill Pelto turns climate data into watercolors, making visible the grim effects of climate change on forests, marine ecosystems and glaciers. Pelto is motivated to create these works by a desire to engage new and wider audiences in understanding climate science. “Most of the population doesn’t pay attention to the scientific community and research,” Pelto told Climate Central. “That’s the group I want to target.”


Understanding the 2015–16 El Niño and its impact on phytoplankton–February 1, 2016
By Stephanie Schollaert Uz

Observations collected by NASA and NOAA satellites have monitored the progression of this year’s very strong El Niño in the equatorial Pacific by observing sea-surface temperatures and heights, winds, precipitation, air quality and chlorophyll concentrations. Additionally, buoys monitored by NOAA collect subsurface measurements of upper ocean heat content. The combination of these measurements and models indicate that El Niño peaked in December 2015 and has started to weaken, although its ripple effects will be felt around the world for some time.


On Twitter, Oceanographers Show Deep Appreciation for Data-Collection Device–January 25, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

On Friday, while many people were tracking the progress of the winter storm bearing down on the eastern United States, oceanographers were rummaging through their fieldwork photos for images of CTDs to share on Twitter in honor of #CTDAppreciationDay.


Going digital: Building a better geological map of Alaska–January 20, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

In the early 1900s, before Alaska was part of the United States, geologists roamed this northern territory on foot and horseback, noting its features and terrain on hand-drawn maps. Nearly 100 years later in 1996, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research geologist Frederic Wilson and a dozen colleagues undertook the task of using some of the information contained in these field notes, sketches and maps, along with many other sources of data, to create the first fully digitalized geological map of Alaska.


Data management isn’t optional; It’s essential to being successful–January 14, 2016
By Rebecca Fowler

John Bates is Principal Scientist for Remote Sensing at the National Centers for Environmental Information of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NOAA/NESDIS). His research interests focus on the use of operational and research satellite data to study the global water cycle and studying interactions of the ocean and atmosphere. Bates is Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites-Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites Joint Working Group on Climate and serves on the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Board of Directors.


Visualizing Data Science–December 22, 2015
By Rebecca Fowler

“What is a data scientist?” D.J. Patil, now the U.S. Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy, asked an audience of Earth and space scientists during a 14 December American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting Town Hall. Many people, even scientists, struggle with this question thanks, in part, to the newness and rapid growth of the field of data science.


Making Earth and Space Science Data Matter–December 9, 2015
By Rebecca Fowler

Satellites carrying cameras and sensors orbit Earth collecting information about clouds, oceans, land and ice; autonomous underwater vehicles festooned with instruments map the dynamic features of the seas; and weather stations consisting of grids of still more sensors measure atmospheric conditions. These are just some of the technologies that generate the raw data used by scientists to predict weather and climate, by emergency workers to respond to natural disasters and by policymakers to address global challenges.

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