Improved Communication, Improved Management, Improved Data

Not long ago, we published a post about the work IMPACT’s Airborne Data Management Group’s (ADMG) is doing to increase discovery of and access to airborne and field investigation data and information. However, that is only part of ADMG’s scope. The ADMG team also works to improve communication between data producers, archivers, and science users, as well as to recommend better airborne data management practices for NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

ADMG summarizes both historical campaigns and NASA facility instrument efforts to assist with determining which Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) should archive and manage the campaign or instrument data. Publication of historical data is not as straightforward as current campaign data collections and requires greater research and metadata curation effort. Over one-third of historical airborne campaigns have not yet been delivered to a DAAC for preservation. ADMG makes sure these data get the care and attention they need.

Team member Shelby Bagwell speaks to the importance of giving close attention to airborne metadata:

Attention to detail is incredibly important because more often than not, the metadata is coming from multiple sources. These sources might use different terminology for things such as deployment names, platform names, etc. and it takes close attention to ensure that we are organizing the metadata correctly.

ADMG also plays a vital role in improving communication pathways, policies, and best practices for airborne and field investigation data management across EOSDIS. Along these lines, ADMG works with DAACs and current Earth Venture Suborbital-3 (EVS-3) investigation teams to enhance the efficiency and timeliness of field campaign data transfer and publication. ADMG provides a knowledge center to help improve information distribution, encourage consistent terminology, strengthen best practices of data handling, and cross-DAAC consistency in order to maximize the return on NASA’s airborne and field investigation investments.

NASA Airborne Science Program’s Earth Resources (ER-2) aircraft conduct a wide variety of environmental science, atmospheric sampling, and satellite data verification missions. (NASA / Carla Thomas)

The focus on more consistent data stewardship practices supports decision making throughout the EOSDIS enterprise. ADMG works with data producers to create relevant, comprehensive data management plans which help to improve data transfer, publication, and archival. Encouraging the use of good data management and adherence to best practices ultimately leads to science users locating the data they need faster which ultimately increases data access and reuse using proper citations. ADMG works with DAACs, investigators, and data users in order to identify and help solve data issues and to provide a more consistent user experience across the multiple DAACs serving airborne and field investigation data.

ADMG’s focus on serving all stakeholders is summarized by team member Dr. Stephanie Wingo:

Experiencing first hand the difficulties of locating field data and contextual metadata, I understand and am continually motivated to work to meet these needs for our stakeholders. Mindfulness of and responding to user communities’ needs, throughout the entire data life cycle, are clear ways NASA can multiply the benefits achieved through its Earth Science field efforts.

The utility of data depends on a great deal more than just the data itself. Better data quality and usability as well as metadata information management lead to improved data utilization. This is the ultimate objective toward which all the activities of the ADMG team apply.

Additional information on the Airborne Data Management Group can be found here.

This is the unofficial blog of the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team.

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