World Data Centers (WDCs)
The World Data Center (WDC) system comprises 52 centers in 12 countries that provide access to geophysical and environmental data to all scientists free of charge or for the cost of reproduction. The centers also assure the long-term archiving and preservation of data and work with data to improve their quality. The centers are overseen by the ICSU Panel on World Data Centers.
Holdings include solar, geophysical, environmental, and human-dimensions data. Data cover timescales ranging from seconds to millennia and provide baseline information for research in many ICSU disciplines, especially for monitoring changes in the geosphere and biosphere.
The WDC System sponsors a number of capacity-building projects. In addition, most of the constituent centers have educational programs at many levels for the general public and educational institutions. Since a primary function of the data centers is public outreach, there is the potential for using the WDC System as a means of presenting ICSU initiatives in science and education to a global audience.
For more information about the World Data Center system see http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/wdc/