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Mission Statement

The mission of the Global Change Master Directory is to offer a high quality resource for the discovery, access, and use of Earth science data and data-related services worldwide, while specifically promoting the discovery and use of NASA data as an integral part of NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) project. The directory resource is targeted to serve as a valued location for sharing data from multinational sources and, in turn, will contribute to scientific research by providing stewardship of metadata and direct access to Earth science data and services. The GCMD is a premiere collaborative international resources linking scientists, researchers, policy makers, and the general public with Earth science and environmental data.


As part of the overall mission, the GCMD supports NASA and NASA partners in related activities including:


  • Serves as one of NASA's contributions to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) by developing tools in the support of the International Directory Network (IDN).
    • Serves as the maintenance body for the Directory Interchange Format standard through the "Interoperability Forum", thus contributing a distinctly valuable service to the Earth science user community.
    • Works with CEOS partners in developing tools aimed at unifying the international communities.

  • Collaborates with other partners and organizations.
    • Creates search "portals" for associated groups who wish to share their data set descriptions through the GCMD and also wish to offer a focused view of their specific data.
    • Assists associated distributed data systems in locating specific data.

  • Maintains one of the world's most popular hierarchical set of Earth science keywords.
    • Earth science community is encouraged to contribute to the development and evolution of GCMD keywords a keyword request and serving as a keyword reviewer (Contact the ESDIS Standards office if interested in reviewing).

  • Supports NASA Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) community.
    • Provides a customized ESIP data portal to search for data holdings from ESIP members.
    • Contributes in the ESIP committees: (1) Documentation (2) Semantic Technology and (3) Partnership Committee.

The Global Change Master Directory staff plans its work in line with the GCMD's mission statement, in conjunction with the goals and responsibilities as the International Directory Network (IDN) of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites' (CEOS), the shared goals with EOSDIS.

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