An Operation IceBridge Portal focused on Data Products and Metadata

Monday, 15 December 2014
Steve Tanner1, Julia A Collins1, Matthew H Savoie2, Kevin Beam3, Bruce H Raup4, Hanna Wilcox2 and Kyle Purdon5, (1)National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)NSIDC, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)CIRES, Longmont, CO, United States, (4)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (5)Center For Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, Lawrence, KS, United States
NASA’s Operation IceBridge (OIB) mission, initiated in 2009, collects airborne remote sensing measurements over the polar regions to bridge the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation satellite (ICESat) mission and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission in 2017. OIB combines an evolving mix of instruments to gather data on topography, ice and snow thickness, high-resolution photography, and other properties that are more difficult or impossible to measure via satellite. Once collected, these data are stored and made available at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. To date, there are nearly 120 terabytes of data available, and there are about three more years of data collection left.

NSIDC developed an initial map-based data portal that displayed the flightlines flown by OIB and allowed users to select data products associate with these flightlines. However, this portal was difficult to use because it focused on the flightlines rather than the data products. In 2013, OIB data providers largely revamped their data delivery process, reformatting data to better adhere to NASA standards and generating substantially more metadata with each data product. Because of this change, NSIDC has been able to develop a significantly more powerful map-based portal for search, discovery and access of these data products. This new portal allows users to focus on the data products themselves, with spatial, temporal and other filters operating on the products rather than the flightlines. This presentation shows the power of the new portal as well as the process the teams went through to make the transition to better metadata generation and use.