1. Earth Observation Data

Earth Observation Data

NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) comprises a series of satellites, a science component and a data system which is called the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). EOSDIS distributes thousands of Earth system science data products and associated services for interdisciplinary studies. Almost all data in EOSDIS are held on-line and accessed via ftp and http.

Through interagency and international partnerships, NASA also distributes and promotes EO data from non-NASA missions.

There are several ways to search for data of interest:

LANCE Near Real-Time Data

Access near real-time products from the MODIS, OMI, AIRS, and MLS instruments in less than 3 hours from observation from the Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). The system supports application users who are interested in monitoring and analyzing a wide variety of natural and man-made phenomena.


Interactively browse full-resolution, global, near real-time satellite imagery from 100+ data products from LANCE and other NASA data providers. In essence, Worldview shows the entire Earth as it looks "right now" - or at least as it has looked within the past few hours. This supports time-critical application areas such as wildfire management, air quality measurements, and weather forecasting.

GCMD - Dataset Directory

The Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) is a directory to Earth science data and services. The GCMD database currently holds more than 25,000 Earth science data sets and services covering all aspects of Earth and environmental sciences. One can use the search box or select from the available keywords to search for data and services.

DAAC Search & Order Tools

Each EOSDIS DAAC is distinguished from one another by their specific Earth system science discipline. In addition to the search-and-order capabilities provided by GCMD and ECHO/Reverb, the DAACs have individual online systems that allow them to provide unique services for users of a particular type of data. The DAAC-specific systems emphasize data products, services, and data-handling tools unique to the DAAC.


Discover and order cross-discipline data from all of DAAC Common Metadata Repository (CMR) metadata holdings through Reverb. Reverb allows users, including those without specific knowledge of the data, to search science data holdings, retrieve high-level descriptions of data sets and detailed descriptions of the data inventory, view browse images, and submit orders via CMR to the appropriate DAAC providers.

Earthdata Search - Data and Services Access Client

Earthdata Search provides easy-to-use access to EOSDIS services for Earth science data discovery, filtering, visualization, and access. It also serves as a platform to feature planned EOSDIS services as they become available. Earthdata Search uses the Common Metadata Repository (CMR) for sub-second search across the EOSDIS metadata catalog and simpler, faster access to faceted metadata. As the CMR evolves to provide parameter, visualization, and service metadata, Earthdata Search will take advantage of the new features. Using Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS), Earthdata Search enables high-performance, highly available data visualization. Earthdata Search provides data visualizations on a web-based map using the GIBS tile service. As GIBS adds support for granule-based visualizations, Earthdata Search will enable users to view even more precise map imagery and thumbnails for GIBS-enabled data collections. In addition to direct download, Earthdata Search surfaces OPeNDAP services for simpler spatial and parameter subsetting. Planned EOSDIS-sponsored updates to OPeNDAP provide opportunities to dramatically improve user experience for data subsetting, download, and transformation. Earthdata Search will bring these changes to end-users as they become available.

CMR – Common Metadata Repository, Application Program Interfaces

The Common Metadata Repository (CMR) is a high-performance, high-quality, continuously evolving metadata system that merges all existing capabilities and metadata from EOS ClearingHouse (ECHO) and the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) systems. Once fully operational, CMR will serve as the authoritative management system for all EOSDIS metadata. CMR provides a single source of unified, high-quality, and reliable Earth Science metadata to that meets evolving needs of the EOSDIS community and external users (e.g. DAACs, application developers and national/international agencies). It provides a single ingest and search architecture for submission and discovery of all metadata. It supports collections, granules and new metadata concepts (e.g. parameters, visualization, documentation) while preforming QA on new and existing metadata records (i.e. collection level). Users can access the data and services by using general or community-tailored clients that access CMR using a series of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) defined using web services.

CWIC – CEOS WGISS Integrated Catalog

The CEOS WGISS Integrated Catalog (CWIC) is being developed by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) to provide a framework that allows for easier search and access of Earth Observation data via partnering of CEOS agency data systems. For these partnering agencies, CWIC provides a single point of search and access. CWIC is a virtual clearinghouse of spatial, temporal, and science keyword metadata that brokers access to Earth Observation data by interoperating with data archives of other agencies and countries.

European Space Agency (ESA) - EO data distribution

ESA distributes Earth observation data from ESA EO Missions, Third Party Missions (TPMs), ESA Campaigns, the Copernicus Space Component (CSC), as well as sample and auxiliary data from a number of missions and instruments. Data distributed by ESA is available under different data policies and by various access mechanisms. View the How to Access Data webpage.

Page Last Updated: May 2, 2019 at 12:39 PM EDT