An Annotated Guide to Earth Remote Sensing Data and Information Resources for Social Science Applications

Section 4.0

Selected Earth Remote Sensing Data Systems and Centers

Suggested starting points for general readers are indicated with an asterisk.

4.1 Selected Multinational Data Systems and Centers

  1. Centre for Earth Observation (CEO). The CEO Programme is a European Community programme for advancing the use of Earth Observation (EO) data. The WWW site provides access to a set of demonstration case studies related to satellite orbit tracking, geographic information and visualization, and selected applications. CEO has developed the EWSE testbed (see section 3.1) for exchange of Earth observation data. Availability:

  2. * Earthnet Online. The European Space Agency (ESA) maintains access to its satellite data resources via the earthnet online service, including data from both European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites and non-ESA satellites. Instruments include microwave sounder, synthetic aperture radar, altimeter, Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR), and wind scatterometer. Availability:

  3. The World Data Center System. Many of the World Data Centers (WDCs) of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) hold remote sensing data of various types. There are 13 discipline centers in the U.S. (WDC-A), 7 discipline centers in Russia (WDC-B), 9 discipline centers in Europe (WDC-C1), 7 discipline centers in Japan and India (WDC-C2), and 9 discipline centers in China (WDC-D). This WWW site contains a guide to the WDC System and links to WDCs that maintain their own home pages. Availability:

4.2 Selected National Centers

  1. Australian Centre for Remote Sensing (ACRES). ACRES is Australia's major satellite remote sensing organisation, an element of the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group (AUSLIG), Department of Administrative Services. ACRES provides access to satellite data from Landsat, SPOT, ERS, RADARSAT, JERS, and other platforms. The WWW site includes a digital catalogue of available data. Availability:

  2. Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS). The CCRS oversees acquisition of Earth observation data and coordinates remote sensing applications in Canada. It provides access to the CEOCat image archive (see section 3), including extensive SPOT, Landsat, and RADARSAT imagery, and maintains a database of remote sensing companies in Canada. Availability:

  3. Global Hydrology Research Center (GHRC). Formerly the Marshall Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), the GHRC continues to archive and disseminate hydrological data including a range of cloud, water, and lightning data. The site provides access to an on-line search tool, Hydro, and to selected datasets via ftp. Availability: (**This seems to be gone:Also see
    for information about the transfer of data from the former Marshall DAAC to other DAACs.)

  4. National Cartography and Geospatial Center (NCG). NCG is USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) data archive and distribution center for spacial data and mapping products and services.

  5. * NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). Eight NASA DAACs provide data management and dissemination support for a wide range of existing NASA remote sensing data platforms and upcoming EOS missions. The eight DAACs are:
    • Alaska Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Facility. Includes SAR data from the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS)-1, the Japanese Earth Remote Sensing Satellite (JERS)-1, and the Canadian RADARSAT mission, plus selected AVHRR, Landsat, and high-altitude aerial imagery. URL
    • Earth Resources Observation System (EROS) Data Center. Archives land processes data from Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C), Landsat pathfinders, global 1-kilometer AVHRR, and selected airborne platforms. URL Maps, photographs, special project images are available from EROS homepage
    • Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) DAAC. Responsible for upper atmosphere, global biosphere, and atmospheric dynamics, including data from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS), Sea-Viewing Wide-Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS), Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS), and the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere-Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA-COARE). URL
    • Jet Propulsion Laboratory Physical Oceanography (JPL PO) DAAC. Manages physical oceanography data including data from the Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX/Poseidon), NOAA AVHRR, Nimbus 7, and Seasat. Future holdings will include scatterometer and altimeter data from multiple platforms. URL
    • Langley Research Center (LaRC) DAAC. Responsible for data related to the Earth's radiation budget, tropospheric chemistry, clouds, and aerosols, including remote sensing data from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE), Stratospheric Aerosol Measurement II (SAM II), Global Tropospheric Experiment (GTE), First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE), and the Space Shuttle. URL
    • National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Oversees data related to snow and ice, cryosphere, and climate, including passive microwave-derived products, AVHRR scenes, altimeter data, and field experiment data. URL
    • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) DAAC. Archives and distributes data related to biogeochemical dynamics of the Earth, including field data from the First ISLSCP Field Experiment (FIFE) of the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) and the Oregon Transect Ecosystem Research (OTTER) Project. URL
    • Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Facilitates access to and integrates socioeconomic and Earth science data, including administrative boundary data, census and household survey data, agricultural and land use/cover data, international environmental treaties and associated status information, human health data, and associated metadata. URL

    Availability: (**Bob, do you know if a replacement exists for this page - its not there For a current list of the DAACs and their access information, please see DAAC data holdings are described in the DAAC Science Data Plan data base at

  6. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR is a research center operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) which has extensive holdings of atmospheric and oceanographic data. The WWW site provides access to real-time atmospheric and weather data from satellites, radar, and other sources (see Section 5) and to various research data archives. Availability:

  7. National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) Data Centre. Data centre for the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite IRS-1C, which provides very high resolution panchromatic data. Availability:

  8. National Space Development Agency (NASDA) Earth Observation Center (EOC) The EOC is a NASDA field center established to develop satellite remote sensing technology. This WWW site provides information on a range of satellites including the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS/MIDORI), the Marine Observation Satellite-1 (MOS-1), the Japan Earth Resources Satellite-1 (JERS-1), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), SPOT, Landsat, and the European Remote Sensing Satellite. It includes a range of satellite imagery concerning volcanoes, land use change, weather, and other phenomena; seven months of data from the ADEOS/MIDORI platform (November 1996-June 1997); and access to a test release of the EOIS WWW Image Catalogue Service. Availability:

  9. National Space Development Agency (NASDA) Earth Observation Research Center (EORC). The EORC is a NASDA research center which provides access to data and information regarding various existing and planned Japanese satellites, including the Marine Observation Satellite-1 (MOS-1), the Japan Earth Resources Satellite-1 (JERS-1), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), and the ADEOS series. The WWW site includes a data gallery and data library and links to both U.S. and Japanese Internet search engines. Availability:

  10. NOAA Satellite Active Archive. The Satellite Active Archive is an on-line service of NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). It provides direct access to data from the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS), Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). Availability:

  11. Space Monitoring Information Support (SMIS) Laboratory. This laboratory of the Space Research Institute in Moscow provides access to data from the Geostationary Operational Meteorological Satellites (GOMS), RESURS 01, and NOAA satellites. Availability:

Basic Documentation
Selected Listings
Data Catalogs/Search Tools
Data Systems/Centers
Other Resources
Email/WWW Gateways

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