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Earth Science Data System Working Groups


The Earth Science Data System Working Groups (ESDSWG) is a NASA organization established under the auspices of NASA Headquarters in 2004. The chartered role of the ESDSWG focuses on the exploration and development of recommendations derived from pertinent community insights of NASA's heterogeneous and distributed Earth science data systems.

The ESDSWG is comprised of working groups organized around key technology and information system issues. Each Working Group functions independently establishing their own work plans on germane data system issues and topics. The ESDSWG members are drawn from a broad range of NASA-funded science and technology projects, NASA information technology experts, affiliated contractor staff and other interested community members from academia and industry.

  • ESDSWG Manager: Jeff Walter, NASA GSFC
  • ESDSWG Coordinator: Steve Olding, NASA GSFC/CTS

What do the working groups do?

  • Provide expert advice: Working groups make recommendations to ESDIS for decision making and prioritization purposes.
  • Problem solving: Working groups address various challenges, issues, and opportunities in response to Earth Science Data System (ESDS) priorities and community-identified needs.
  • Efficiency improvement: Working groups develop guidelines and best practices that address the practical implementation of standards and technologies, enhance data interoperability, and improve software development and software architecture practices.

Working Group Formation

Working groups are formed, renewed, and retired on an annual cycle based around the ESDSWG annual meeting. Working groups typically operate for a minimum one year term but may be renewed for additional one year terms with the concurrence of the ESDSWG community. Each working group will have an action plan that defines specific objectives, stakeholders, activities, and deliverables. Once a working group's objectives have been met, its activities completed, and its deliverables have been finalized, the working group will be retired and its members move on to other working group activities.

Prior to the ESDSWG annual meeting:

  • ESDIS issues a list of ESDS priorities for the coming year.
  • ESDSWG members submit proposals for new working group activities to the Earthdata wiki.
  • The ESDSWG community reviews the ESDS priorities and community proposals and start to develop proposals (action plans) for new working groups.
  • ESDSWG members and candidate working groups chairs express support for the proposals.

During the ESDSWG annual meeting:

  • Findings and recommendations of the current working groups are presented to the ESDSWG community.
  • Draft working group action plans are presented by the proposers to the ESDSWG community.
  • Breakout groups review and refine the working group action plans, consolidate competing proposals, and identify candidate working group leadership.
  • Working groups present their finalized action plans to the ESDSWG community.

Following the ESDSWG annual meeting:

  • ESDSWG members complete proposal appraisals and sign up to participate in the working groups.
  • ESDIS conducts a final review of the community appraisals, priorities and available resources.
    • Negotiates action plan details with working group leads.
    • May consolidate proposals to form more viable working groups.
    • May re-balance to include a mix of near-term needs and longer-term visionary activities.
    • Allocates working group members and ESDIS Points of Contact (POCs) the working groups.
  • New working groups are initiated.

Where is all of the information from the former historical working groups?

For several years the ESDSWG had four historical working groups, including

  • Metrics Planning and Reporting Working Group (MPARWG);
  • Software Reuse Working Group (SRWG);
  • Standards Process Group (SPG); and
  • Technology Infusion Working Group (TIWG).

The MPARWG was renamed to Metrics Planning Group (MPG) and elevated as a standalone part of the Community Data System Programs in November 2011. The other three (SRWG, SPG, and TIWG) were folded as regular working groups and the historical information is now archived within the ESDSWG Archive in the Earthdata wiki.

Page Last Updated: May 5, 2019 at 11:34 PM EDT