On April 19, 2013, the Obama Administration’s Office of Science and Technology released its, “National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations.”
“Each year, Federal agencies invest billions of dollars in civil Earth observations. Through these investments, the U.S. government ensures that the Nation’s decision makers, businesses, first-responders, farmers, and a wide array of other stakeholders have the information they need about climate and weather, disaster events, land-use change, ecosystem health, natural resources, and many other characteristics of the planet. Taken together, Earth observations provide the indispensable foundation for meeting the Federal Government’s long-term sustainability objectives and advancing U.S. social, environmental, and economic well-being.”
This strategy provides a “framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation’s Earth-observation enterprise. Currently, 11 Federal departments and agencies engage in Earth observation activities, collecting volumes of important data about the Earth on an ongoing basis, using an array of sophisticated tools and systems. The new Strategy outlines a process for evaluating and prioritizing Earth-observation investments according to their value to society in critical areas such as agriculture, global change, disasters, water resources, and weather.”
The National Strategy includes two main elements:
- A policy framework and method for Federal Government assessment of Earth observations (data and products derived from Earth-observing systems) that defines societal benefit areas, evaluates information products produced for those areas, identifies critical data streams that support those products, and prioritizes the observing systems on which those data streams depend, taking account of both present capabilities and anticipated needs and technologies.
- Data-management guidelines that advance data-management frameworks and improve information-delivery systems for Earth-observation data.