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Government Data Centers: Meeting Increasing Demands
opportunities and improve the way users are informed about these opportunities.
Some users purposefully retrieve more data than they require, either because of uncertainty that the data will always be available or because it is often easier than retrieving subsets. This practice unnecessarily strains the network. In addition, hoarding data can waste users’ storage resources and result in datasets that are not kept up-to-date.
Data collected by individual researchers are not available to the community in a timely manner and are lost when the researcher retires.
Duplication of effort in data management has many benefits and some drawbacks. Duplication can lead to new ideas, better metadata, increased access options, and greater data security. On the other hand, duplication can make tracking the data lineage more complicated and can be a waste of resources.
The user community is broader and more diverse than the community for which it was originally planned. Facilitating the access and understanding of data by interdisciplinary and non-technical users should be a priority for the data centers.
What kind of infrastructure/technology would make it easier for users to access and exploit data? What search tools would be useful for isolating the requested data and obtaining them in a useable format? Is a common format (e.g., HDF) the right answer, or are there better formats for archiving, storage, and transmission?
Better dataset visualization tools would ease user access.
Using translatable structured formats would be a logical way to allow both independence and interoperability. The working group noted that XML, which was developed for the World Wide Web, might be a good starting point for standardizing metadata formats.
Libraries might be a key new player in the digital world as archival entities for global climate change data. Libraries