The U.S. Government is the largest provider of environmental and Earth-system data in the world. Voluminous amounts of data and information come from a complex array of satellites, ocean buoys, stream gauges, human surveys, and other platforms for collecting what the scientific community calls Earth observations. These data are used every day to protect life and property and answer key questions about our planet. This book establishes a framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation's Earth-observation enterprise. The National Plan for Civil Earth Observations aims to.