Using Commercial Data Sources in the Earth Science Enterprises

by Scott Pace

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This study was conducted for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA to assess data policy issues and potential barriers to using commercial resources to support the science objectives of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) program. (The name of the program was changed to Earth Sciences in 1998.) The study provides an overview of U.S. and international data policy issues affecting remote sensing data; it identifies potential data policy barriers to the use of commercial remote sensing; and provides recommendations as to how NASA and private industry may be able to reduce barriers to the use of commercial remote sensing in meeting the needs of NASA and broader U.S. policy objectives. The study indicates that while there are no fundamental barriers to mutually beneficial agreements between the public and private sectors, many of the issues that need to be addressed are part of a wider policy debate over the future of intellectual property rights and electronic commerce.

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