NASA Master Directory and NSSDC Information Systems News Update

Volume 10, Number 2, September 1994
by Jim Thieman
As previously announced, the NASA Master Directory (NMD) and the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) are being separated. The GCMD will reside on a Silicon Graphics machine within the Global Change Data Center at GSFC. The NASA Master Directory will be placed on a DEC Alpha Workstation within the NSSDC. The reason for the split reflects the current organization and emphases within NASA as a whole and GSFC in particular. Both directories will continue to point to all data sets of interest to the NASA-funded research community and the world-wide community as a whole. The GCMD, however, will provide more detailed information about the Earth science data sets, whereas the NMD will stress information about the space sciences. Both NMD and GCMD databases and interfaces will be tuned to their primary intended communities.

The process of fissioning the directories has begun. A new DEC Alpha workstation has been acquired and the NMD database has been extracted from the GCMD database and placed on the new machine. It will be revised soon to reflect its space science emphasis. The separation of the NMD also allows that system to be more directly integrated into the rest of NSSDC information systems. The process of revising, updating, and integrating NSSDC's older data information systems with the NMD has also begun.

An NSSDC user will be able to determine potential datasets of interest through the Master Directory, obtain more complete information about any particular dataset stored at NSSDC through the information now stored in the NSSDC Master Catalog, and identify, order, and receive full datasets or granules from them through revised versions of the NSSDC Data Access and Distribution System (NDADS) and the Automated Retrieval Mailer System (ARMS). All of these systems will be tied together so that users can quickly and efficiently identify and access data stored at the NSSDC. Other information services such as newsletters, standards information, etc., will also be offered within the system.

NMD-identified data not held at NSSDC will typically be reachable through the traditional MD link capability.

Future issues of this newsletter will keep you informed about the progress of this effort. We hope you will be ready to try the system when it is released and provide us with the feedback to continue developing more and better services for you.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]