As geospatial missions age, one of the challenges for the usability of data is the availability of relevant and updated metadata with sufficient documentation that can be used by future generations of users to gain knowledge from the original data. Given that remote sensing data undergo many intermediate processing steps, for example, an understanding of the exact algorithms employed and the quality of that data produced, could be key considerations for these users. As interest in global climate data is increasing, documentation about older data, their origins, and provenance are valuable to first time users attempting to perform historical climate research or comparative analysis of global change. Incomplete or missing documentation could be what stands in the way of a new researcher attempting to use the data. Therefore, preservation of documentation and related metadata is sometimes just as critical as the preservation of the original observational data. The Goddard Earth Sciences - Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC), a NASA Earth science Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), that falls under the management structure of the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS), is actively pursuing the preservation of all necessary artifacts needed by future users. In this paper we will detail the data custodial planning and the data lifecycle process developed for content preservation, our implementation of a Preservation System to safeguard documents and associated artifacts from legacy (older) missions, as well as detail lessons learned regarding access rights and confidentiality of information issues. We also elaborate on key points that made our preservation effort successful; the primary points being: the drafting of a governing baseline for historical data preservation from satellite missions, and using the historical baseline as a guide to content filtering of what documents to preserve. The Preservation System currently archives documentation content for High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS), Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), and the 1960's era Nimbus mission. Documentation from other missions like the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), and the Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder (AIRS) are also slated to be added to this repository, as well as the other mission datasets to be preserved at the GES DISC.
Meteorology and Climatology; Documentation and Information Science; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Journal of Map &amp; Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections and Archives (e-ISSN 1542-0361); 11; 3; 271-288