W/NV GRSS Chapter Technical Meeting

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 3:30pm

(refreshments available at 3:00pm)




Ms. Kathy Fontaine

Global Change Data Center (Code 610.2)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD


Global Earth Observation Systems of Systems


The international Group on Earth Observations (GEO) was established in 2003 to engage all the nations of the Earth in building a coordinated, comprehensive, and sustained Earth observation capability.   Key to that capability, and perhaps the greatest challenge, is the realization of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS.  The GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan has identified nine Societal Benefit Areas to which member agencies and participating organizations can focus relevant assets - anything from actual sensors and data sets to processing expertise to user requirements.   GEO members and organizations strive to make GEOSS a reality by pooling their collective expertise to address critical issues either within one or more of those 9 areas, or across all nine at once.  The GEO website describes GEOSS this way:  "GEOSS will build on and add value to existing Earth-observation systems by coordinating their efforts, addressing critical gaps, supporting their interoperability, sharing information, reaching a common understanding of user requirements, and improving delivery of information to users."  Each member nation has responded to GEO by establishing some sort of coordinating body; within the United States, that is the United States Group on Earth Observations (USGEO).  This talk will describe the establishment of GEO and USGEO, will provide an overview of the activities and challenges in the area of architecture and data management, and will highlight some of the major efforts underway within USGEO today.