Earth Observing System:

Concentration on Near-Term EOSDIS Development May Jeopardize Long-Term Success

T-AIMD-95-103: Published: Mar 16, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 1995.

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GAO discussed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) development strategy for the Earth Observing System Data Information System (EOSDIS). GAO noted that: (1) NASA has taken positive steps towards addressing the National Research Council's concerns about EOSDIS; (2) NASA has revamped the system's technical architecture to make it more flexible and accommodating to users' needs and activities; (3) the new system design will allow users to share their research and data products as well as retrieve archived data; (4) NASA has strengthened system management and hired highly qualified people for the project office; (5) NASA needs to better understand and incorporate user needs before deciding on critical system elements; (6) NASA needs to give the regional data centers greater authority, responsibility, and funding, since they better understand the needs of the scientists who will use EOSDIS; (7) NASA knows very little about potential EOSDIS users beyond the earth science community; and (8) NASA needs to focus on more modest near-term system development efforts until advanced software is available and more information is known about expected users and the level of functionality to be provided.

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