CEOS Development Environment

Data Preservation and Stewardship

Earth Observation data are unique snapshots of the condition of the Earth at a specific point in time, and represent a unique and valuable resource that needs to be preserved, managed, and curated throughout its lifecycle. The data need to be accessible and usable for current and future generations to make sure it continues to provide essential information on our planet and the changes which are affecting it. 

This task becomes more important in the view of over 40 years’ worth of data available in Earth Observation archives around the world – and the increasing demand for monitoring long-term variations of environmental parameters and essential climate variables, such as sea surface temperature or global sea ice and glaciers distributions, which require long time series of data. Moreover, with the advent of new, high resolution Earth Observation missions, data volumes are growing significantly.


The WGISS Data Preservation and Stewardship Interest Group (DSIG) accomplishes its data preservation and curation efforts through addressing space data and associated information archiving, preservation, consolidation, and valorisation aspects, including efforts to recover heritage space data currently not accessible for users or at preservation risk.  The DSIG was formed due to renewed interest at the WGISS-27 meeting and its mandate extended to cover, in addition to data archiving, also data and associated information consolidation and valorization aspects.


Activities in the Data Preservation and Curation context have the purpose to:

  • Enable the sharing of agencies’ investigations, developments, experiences, and lessons learned relating to EO data stewardship;
  • Issue common cross-agency best practices or guidelines of data stewardship for possible adoption by CEOS members;
  • Sponsor technical exchanges and the conduction of joint activities and/or pilot projects on specific data stewardship topics;
  • Establish and maintain a CEOS “Data Purge Alert” service;
  • Contribute to the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and other standardization bodies’ activities.


Activities focus on EO data, metadata, and associated information:

  • Long-term archiving approaches, systems and media
  • Formats and standards
  • Lifecycle concepts
  • Valorization and curation


All the guidelines and best practices produced by the group have been reviewed and updated recently with the latest findings, and openly shared within and outside of CEOS (e.g., Coordination Group on Meteorological Satellites, CGMS) to enable the maximum benefit of EO data for science, society, and economic growth. Among the different guidelines, a “Data Management and Stewardship Maturity Matrix” has been issued to help data managers and curators to accomplish their tasks. 

White Papers and Reports

Best Practices and Recommendations

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact the Data Stewardship Interest Group point of contact, Mirko Albani, with any comments or questions about the group and its activities.