The mission of NASA’s Earth Science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth as a system. To meet this challenge, the Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program provides a variety of ways for Earth scientists to collaborate with NASA. ESDS actively promotes the full and open sharing of data, software, and services and provides the means to achieve this objective.

Our Commitment to Open Science


Open Data, Services, and Software Policies

ESDS promotes the full and open sharing of all data, metadata, products, information, documentation, models, images, and research results along with the source code used to generate, manipulate, and analyze them. Scientific knowledge is most robust and actionable when derived from transparent, traceable, and reproducible methods.

ESDS Open Source Software Policy

ESDS requires that all software developed through research and technology awards or in-house government-funded development is to be made available to the public as Open Source Software (OSS).




ESDS depends on strategic partnerships with public and private companies to help further its data management and data development efforts. New and existing partnerships help ESDS address several current needs:

  • Support fast and parallel data access and utilize cost-effective storage structures
  • Minimize data wrangling and preprocessing
  • Help NASA assess gaps or capabilities for maximizing the use of the Earthdata Cloud platform
  • Demonstrate the potential of cloud computing by bringing algorithms to the data to enable efficient processing and large-scale science analysis
  • Infuse commercial Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques and expertise to address existing data discovery, access, and use challenges

Memberships and Affiliations

ESDS supports and enhances the goals of numerous international and national organizations dedicated to Earth science and standards development.

More About Our Data Processes

Earthdata Resources for the Applications Community

NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) archive a variety of diverse Earth science datasets and provide services to user communities. While the DAACs provide specific disciplinary expertise to scientific research communities, the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) data they archive and distribute are also valuable for applied science and community decision makers who use these data to inform decisions about our environment, food, water, health, and safety. NASA supports the applications community with high quality, user-friendly, and socially-relevant data and services.

Common Metadata Repository

The Common Metadata Repository (CMR) is a continuously-evolving metadata system that catalogs all EOSDIS data and service metadata records. As data archives continue to grow, cataloging, searching, and extracting relevant data from these archives becomes a critical part of Earth science research.

Adding New Data Process

NASA's EOSDIS partners with data creators and providers to archive and serve their data to a global community of millions of users. EOSDIS offers this service through discipline-specific and common tools at no cost to data providers, with the added benefit of protecting these data from disasters and from technology obsolescence. Because each mission is unique, the process and requirements for submission vary depending on the data source.

DOI Process

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are permanent and unique references to data products in long-term storage and distribution spaces. DOIs facilitate data retrieval and allow researchers to publish citations for the exact data and data products used in their research.


NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project Standards Coordination Office (ESCO) assists in formulating standards policy for ESDS. ESCO also coordinates standards activities within ESDIS and provides technical expertise and assistance with standards-related tasks within NASA's Earth Science Data System Working Groups (ESDSWG).

Earthdata Code Collaborative

The Earthdata Code Collaborative (ECC) is a platform for developing, testing, and discovering Earthdata-related applications and services. The ECC provides a ready-to-use framework for running tests every time a code base changes, alerting code teams of failures, and making recommendations about what testing frameworks and approaches to use.


Application Program Interfaces (APIs) are sets of routines, tools, and protocols for how software components interact. EOSDIS makes a number of APIs available to promote the full and open sharing of all data, metadata, products, information, documentation, models, images, and research results.

More Resources

The Earthdata Forum provides a central location where data users can interact with subject matter experts from multiple data centers to discuss general questions about research needs and data applications as well as specific queries about accessing, viewing, and manipulating NASA Earth science data. Along with the Earthdata Forum, the NASA Physical Oceanography DAAC (PO.DAAC) Forum is a resource for specific questions about physical oceanography data and PO.DAAC tools.
Please feel free to send us your comments and questions. We try to answer as many as possible but urge you to also look at our FAQ. Keep your questions relevant to the Earthdata website. If you have questions about datasets and data tools, please use the Earthdata Forum or the PO.DAAC Forum.