The National Geophysical Data Center
(NGDC) provides scientific stewardship, products and services for geophysical data
The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...
describing the solid earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...
, and solar-terrestrial environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....
, as well as earth observations from space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....
Location and controlling bodies
The NGDC, located in Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...
, is a part of the US Department of Commerce (USDOC), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS). They are one of three NOAA National Data Centers (NNDC).
The NOAA NESDIS mission is to provide and ensure timely access to global environmental data from satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....
s and other sources to promote, protect, and enhance the U.S.'s economy, security, environment, and quality of life. To fulfill its responsibilities NESDIS acquires and manages the U.S.'s operational environmental satellites, provides data and information services, and conducts related research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...
NGDC's data holdings currently contain more than 300 digital
A digital system is a data technology that uses discrete values. By contrast, non-digital systems use a continuous range of values to represent information...
and analog database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...
s, some of which are very large. As technology advances, so does the search for more efficient ways of preserving these data.
NGDC works closely with contributors of scientific data to prepare documented, reliable data sets. They welcome cooperative projects with other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and universities, and encourage data exchange.
NGDC's data users include:
- private industry
- universities and other educational facilities
- research organizations
- federal, state, and local governments
- foreign governments, industry, and academia
- publishers and other mass media
- the general public
The Data Center continually develops data management programs that reflect the changing world of geophysics
Geophysics is the physics of the Earth and its environment in space; also the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods. The term geophysics sometimes refers only to the geological applications: Earth's shape; its gravitational and magnetic fields; its internal structure and...