With more than 34 petabytes (PB) of data, thousands of data products, and a plethora of applications and tools for working with these data, it’s impossible to know all the ins and outs of data, products, and services in NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) collection or at EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). Fortunately, experts at discipline-specific EOSDIS DAACs have the answers. The new Earthdata Forum provides a central location where data users can interact with subject matter experts from multiple DAACs to discuss general questions about research needs and data applications, and receive help on specific queries about accessing, viewing, and manipulating NASA Earth observing data.
Five EOSDIS DAACs currently are participating in the Earthdata Forum: the Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC), the Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS), the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), the Global Hydrology Resource Center DAAC (GHRC DAAC), and the Land Processes DAAC (LP DAAC). Experts from NASA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC (ORNL DAAC) and Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) will soon join the Forum.
Two other forums also are available for EOSDIS data users. For questions about ocean color or physical oceanography data and products, DAAC experts are available through the Ocean Color Forum at the Ocean Biology DAAC (OB.DAAC) and the Physical Oceanography Forum at the Physical Oceanography DAAC (PO.DAAC). In addition, many DAACs have tutorials, data recipes, and other educational products available through their individual websites that can help with questions about using data and applications.
DAAC experts supporting the Earthdata Forum are available Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm, Eastern Time, although users can post a question at any time. An Earthdata Login is required to post questions to the Forum. Users without an account can set one up quickly and easily at the Earthdata Login registration page.
Once in the Forum, it’s easy to post a new question by clicking on the green Post New Question button. A Search box directly under the Post New Question button allows users to search for other users’ questions and responses by typing in keywords. Users also can search using dropdown menus for “Discipline,” “DAAC,” “Major Projects,” and “Services/Usage,” which narrow Forum posts based on specific tags.
For example, if you’re interested in finding posts with the tag “Data Visualization,” you can use the Services/Usage dropdown menu in the Search By Tags box to request all posts that have been tagged by Forum moderators as being relevant to visualizing data. To see all the latest user posts, simply click on “All Questions/Comments” in the Forum box at the bottom of the home page.
Users also can click on the Quick Links, FAQs, or Data Recipes buttons in the top left corner of the Forum home page for additional information. Clicking on Quick Links provides a dropdown to select Unanswered Questions, Active Questions, Search, and information about NASA EOSDIS DAACs. FAQ provides quick answers to some of the most common questions posted to the Forum. Finally, Data Recipes provides some common responses to questions related to using or manipulating specific data collections.
You have questions about EOSDIS data? EOSDIS DAACs have the answers. The Earthdata Forum puts a wealth of resources at your fingertips. Check it out!