Global change data and information The complexity of global change requires many types of data and information from many scientific disciplines. Large amounts of data must be assembled, documented, archived, and distributed. Research results must be communicated outside the scientific community to decision makers and educators.
The USGS is working with other agencies to establish the Global Change Data and Information System, which will better organize and improve access to global change data and information. As part of this effort, the USGS has developed the Global Land Information System, an on-line computer-based directory and inventory that provides a user-friendly, interactive source for information about land-related data. The Global Land Information System contains information about data from Landsat and meteorological satellites, as well as land use, land cover, soils, terrain, and cartographic data. Global Land Information System users can interconnect with other systems, including the interagency Global Change Master Directory. Other information systems also are being developed to provide access to the entire range of USGS global change data.
The USGS has been designated by Congress as the National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive. As such, the USGS is preserving, archiving, and distributing Landsat data, approximately one million scenes representing more than 20 years of observations essential for studying global change.
In addition, USGS scientists participate in international assessments of global change, providing information needed by decision makers to establish environmental policy. The USGS also creates educational materials to inform students about global change issues.