Data Recipes: Toward Creating How-To Knowledge Base for Earth Science Data

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 8:45 AM
131C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Suhung Shen, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and C. Lynnes, J. Acker, and T. Beaty

Both the diversity and volume of Earth science data from satellites and numerical models are growing dramatically, due to an increasing population of measured physical parameters, and also an increasing variety of spatial and temporal resolutions for many data products. To further complicate matters, Earth science data delivered to data archive centers are commonly found in different formats and structures. NASA data centers, managed by the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), have developed a rich and diverse set of data services and tools with features intended to simplify finding, downloading, and working with these data. Although most data services and tools have user guides, many users still experience difficulties with accessing or reading data due to varying levels of familiarity with data services, tools, and/or formats.

The data recipe project at Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) was initiated in late 2012 for enhancing user support. A data recipe is a “How-To” online explanatory document, with step-by-step instructions and examples of accessing and working with real data (http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/recipes). The current suite of recipes has been found to be very helpful, especially to first-time-users of particular data services, tools, or data products. Online traffic to the data recipe pages is significant, even though the data recipe topics are still limited.

An Earth Science Data System Working Group (ESDSWG) for data recipes was established in the spring of 2014, aimed to initiate an EOSDIS-wide campaign for leveraging the distributed knowledge within EOSDIS and its user communities regarding their respective services and tools. The ESDSWG data recipe group is working on an inventory and analysis of existing data recipes and tutorials, and will provide guidelines and recommendation for writing and grouping data recipes, and for cross linking recipes to data products.

This presentation gives an overview of the data recipe activites at GES DISC and ESDSWG. We are seeking requirements and input from a broader data user community to establish a strong knowledge base for Earth science data research and application implementations.