There are over ~2700 unique datasets available at the GES DISC. Locating datasets of interest and information is a challenge. Over the years, the GES DISC has developed user-friendly data services such as Giovanni, the Simple Subset Wizard, Mirador, etc. to simplify data access. Results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) show that, over the years, ACSI scores at NASA DAACs have been in the high 70s exceeding the federal government’s average score. However, difficulties in data access still exist, especially for novice or non-professional users who gave lower (compared to professionals) ASCI scores according to the survey, suggesting more work needs to be done to address these data access issues.
To achieve the goal of simplifying data access, staff at the GES DISC routinely analyzes data and information collected from multiple channels such as outreach activities (i.e., meetings, conferences), user services, data access metrics, the GES DISC User Working Group, training activities, publications, etc. Based on the collected information and analysis, improvements and new services are proposed, prototyped, and implemented. Major activities are listed below:
The GES DISC web site (https://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov) has been completely redesigned and released to the public recently. The primary goal of this redesign was to make finding datasets, data access, and information, intuitive, fast, and efficient, in one place. The search function for dataset and information is the main feature. Datasets can be discovered by entering keywords, or by selecting from several different data set categories. The similar features have been applied to the popular online visualization and analysis tool, Giovanni (https://giovanni.gsfc.nasa.gov). For example, we have added a keyword for “IMERG V04” to help locating the latest IMERG (the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM) parameters from over 1600 parameters. With keyword search and facets, users can access other precipitation products from TMPA (TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis), MERRA-2 (Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2), NLDAS (North American Land Data Assimilation System), GLDAS (Global Land Data Assimilation System), etc.
A newly developed datalist concept is to include a recommended data collection for a discipline in search results. The collection contains pre-selected and discipline-related variables from existing NASA satellite missions or projects. An example is the Hurricane Datalist, containing GPM and TRMM precipitation, MERRA-2 wind, temperature, pressure, etc., to help general, especially novice, users to efficiently locate basic datasets for hurricane studies.