Data System Descriptions

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Summary of Air Quality Data, Data Processing, and Data Analysis Systems


The Air Quality System (AQS) is EPA's repository of ambient air quality data. AQS stores data from over 10,000 monitors, 5000 of which are currently active. State, Local and Tribal agencies collect the data and submit it to AQS on a periodic basis.


The Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET) is the nation's primary source for data on dry acidic deposition and rural, ground-level ozone. Operating since 1987, CASTNET is used in conjunction with other national monitoring networks to provide information for evaluating the effectiveness of national emission control strategies. CASTNET consists of over 80 sites across the eastern and western United States and is cooperatively operated and funded with the National Park Service.


AIRNow is a Web site that provides the public with easy access to national air quality information. The Web site was developed by EPA, NOAA, NPS, tribal, state, and local agencies and offers daily forecasts of the air quality index (AQI) which is an index for reporting daily air quality. It also provides real-time AQI conditions for over 300 cities across the U.S. and links to more detailed State and local air quality Web sites.


The Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAAC's) process, archive, document, and distribute data from NASA’s past and current Earth-observing satellites and field measurement programs. Each center serves a specific Earth-system science discipline and provides users with data products, services, and data-handling tools unique to the center's specialty. User services include: assistance in selecting and obtaining data; access to data-handling and visualization tools; notification of data-related news; and technical support and referrals.


See CHIEF for a description of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI) and the emissions modeling framework (EMF).


Visualization Environment for Rich Data Interpretation (VERDI) has been developed as an alternative to PAVE for analyzing the results of CMAQ. This software tool is written in open-source JAVA and is platform independent. VERDI contains most of the functionality of PAVE as well as additional capabilities. In addition to CMAQ outputs, VERDI can also be used to examine data from the Meteorological-Chemistry Input Processor (MCIP) and the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). A structured reader is included to facilitate development of capabilities for reading other data files. VERDI is intended to be community-based as the source code will be publicly available and user community contributions will be encouraged.


DataFed is Web services-based software that non-intrusively mediates between autonomous, distributed data providers and users. DataFed is designed in accordance with the GEOSS architecture, so that it provides standard interfaces to heterogeneous distributed data, fosters data integration and use with processing services and tools, and collects metadata and user-feedback on datasets. DataFed provides access to over 50 distributed, air-quality relevant datasets which can be explored and analyzed by tools for processing and visualization.


The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is a consortium of 100+ organizations that collect, interpret and develop applications for remotely sensed Earth observation information. Included in the ESIP network are NASA, NOAA and USGS data centers, research universities, government research laboratories, supercomputing facilities, commercial enterprises, etc. The ESIP Federation is building the Earth Information Exchange, an interface where earth science data, products and tools will be made available. The interface will be a portal that provides access to the information holdings of member organizations through one web-based location and provides a robust marketplace in which the products and services needed to use and understand this information can be readily acquired. The Exchange will be linked to USGS’s Geospatial One Stop portal, NASA’s Earth Science Gateway, the Global Change Master Directory, and the EOS Clearinghouse, integrating much of the available data and information and making it available through one access point.


AirQuest is an integrated air quality database including data from AQS, AIRNow, the emissions inventory, and CMAQ runs. Working in collaboration with the NASA 3D-AQS project, AirQuest also includes data from satellite sensors and ground-based lidar, formatted to be compatible with EPA monitors and with CMAQ. Data can be visualized through the AirQuest GIS system and are compatible with ArcGIS, GoogleEarth, and SAS.


The Visibility Information Exchange Web System (VIEWS) is an online exchange of air quality data, research, and ideas designed to understand the effects of air pollution on visibility and to support the Regional Haze Rule enacted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce regional haze and improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas.

HEI Air Quality Database

The HEI Air Quality Database focuses on levels of PM2.5 components and gaseous pollutants at and near sites in the EPA's PM2.5 Chemical Speciation Trends Network (STN) and State, Local and Tribal air monitoring stations (SLAMS). The Database is available to investigators interested in using the information for studies on air quality and health. Currently, the Database contains information on speciated PM components and gaseous pollutants at these sites for the years 2000-2006 and it is anticipated that the information will be updated regularly over the next 1-2 years.


3D-AQS is incorporating a range of remote sensing data including lidar profiles (AIRS, MODIS, OMI, GOES, CALIPSO, etc) to expand AQS into a three-dimensional system that provides a better assessment of pollutants distribution in the horizontal and the vertical.


Giovanni stands for the "Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) Interactive Online Visualization ANd Analysis Infrastructure." It is a Web-based application developed by GES DISC that provides a simple and intuitive way to visualize, analyze, and access vast amounts of Earth science remote sensing data without having to download the data.


The Remote Sensing Information Gateway (RSIG) provides a way for users to get the multi-terabyte, environmental dataset they want via an interactive, Web browser-based application. With RSIG users are able to download and parse files (environmental data and models) in minutes, and to integrate selected datasets into a unified visualization. See RSIG Brochure

Environmental Geoweb

Environmental Geoweb involves geospatial technologies for accessing and visualization of earth science information (focus on satellite data and “layering” capability).

Unidata Internet Data Distribution, IDD, System

The Unidata community of over 150 universities has built a system for disseminating real-time earth observations via the Internet. Unlike other systems, which are based on data centers where the information can be accessed, the Unidata IDD is designed so a university can request that certain data sets be delivered to computers at their site as soon as they are available from the observing system. The IDD system also allows any site with access to specialized observations to inject the dataset into the IDD for delivery to other interested sites. Many of the 250 participating sites are receiving about 2GB of real-time data per hour via the IDD -- including weather forecasts, weather station obs, data from all NEXRADS, GOES satellite imagery, lightning strike data, aircraft-borne measurements, etc. The IDD recently surpassed FTP in terms of the amount of data delivered on the Internet 2. Early experiments are underway for using the underlying Unidata Local Data Manager (LDM)to deliver air quality data in real time.

Data provider perspectives

To be provided.