NASA established the Earth Science Division (ESD) to understand and protect our home planet through the use of advanced technologies and our view from space and to study the Earth and improve the analysis and prediction of Earth system change.

To best meet these goals, NASA's Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program promotes the full and open sharing of all data, metadata, documentation, models, images, and research results as well as the source code used to generate, manipulate, and analyze these elements.

Scientific knowledge is most robust and actionable when derived from transparent, traceable, and reproducible methods. Reproducibility relies upon open access to the data and software used to achieve results. The greater the availability of these tools, the more quickly and effectively user communities can utilize the information to answer basic Earth science questions and provide the basis for developing innovative practical applications to benefit society.The ESDS policies described here are tailored for the earth science community and are consistent with NASA’s Scientific Information Policy for the Science Mission Directorate (SPD-41a).

Data and Information Policy

NASA promotes the full and open sharing of all data with research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public.

Open Source Software Policy

ESDS supports the development of software and tools that add value to Earth science data products, observations, and models. NASA seeks to further enable user communities by ensuring that the code for these software and tools is made freely available through open-source software licensing. The ESDS Open Source Software Policy makes it possible for internally- and externally-funded collaborators to provide code to those wishing to further investigate its capabilities.

Open Services and APIs

NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) provides convenient, service-based mechanisms for uniformly locating and accessing data and metadata across the multiple nodes from which EOSDIS data, metadata, and other products can be accessed.

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

Also of Interest

Data Management Guidance for ESD-funded Researchers

The Data Mangement Guidance builds upon the SMD Open-Source Science Guidance and provides additional guidance for ESD-funded researchers on how to implement the data management requirements in Scientific Information Policy for the Science Mission Directorate (SPD-41a).

Open Data

The NASA Open Data Portal is NASA's clearinghouse site for open-data provided to the public, and provides access to tens of thousands of datasets. It is one of three NASA Open-Innovation sites within the Office of the Chief Information Officer's Technology and Innovation Division that provide open access to NASA data (, APIs (, and code (

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