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The challenge of archiving and preserving remotely sensed data


John L Faundeen

Archivist, U.S. Geological Survey, EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198 USA, US
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Few would question the need to archive the scientific and technical (S&T) data generated by researchers. At a minimum, the data are needed for change analysis. Likewise, most people would value efforts to ensure the preservation of the archived S&T data. Future generations will use analysis techniques not even considered today. Until recently, archiving and preserving these data were usually accomplished within existing infrastructures and budgets. As the volume of archived data increases, however, organizations charged with archiving S&T data will be increasingly challenged (U.S. General Accounting Office, 2002). The U.S. Geological Survey has had experience in this area and has developed strategies to deal with the mountain of land remote sensing data currently being managed and the tidal wave of expected new data. The Agency has dealt with archiving issues, such as selection criteria, purging, advisory panels, and data access, and has met with preservation challenges involving photographic and digital media. That experience has allowed the USGS to develop management approaches, which this paper outlines.
How to Cite: Faundeen, J.L., 2003. The challenge of archiving and preserving remotely sensed data. Data Science Journal, 2, pp.159–163. DOI:
Published on 31 Oct 2003.
Peer Reviewed


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