The past two decades have seen the development of effective ways to acquire, store, and exchange data. This technology requires adoption of community-developed standards for data storage and description to form a basis for sharing data, information, and services. For the 50th anniversary of IGY, scientific societies have promoted the establishment of a system of Virtual Observatories. The Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY) concept embraced all available and upcoming geophysical data and helped organize them into a series of virtual geophysical observatories "deployed" in cyberspace. We describe the essential features of eGY and how it fits into a 21st century vision of informatics.