National Plan

In October 2010, Congress charged the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) with developing a new “mechanism to ensure greater coordination of the research, operations, and activities relating to civilian Earth observation” that would also produce and routinely update the strategic plan for Earth observations. The resulting National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations, released in April 2013, provides a framework for routine assessment and planning for the Nation’s Earth observation infrastructure, and outlines a clarified approach for lifecycle data management across the Earth science agencies.

In 2012, the OSTP-chartered National Earth Observations (NEO) Task Force completed the first internal assessment of the Federal Earth observation enterprise, reviewing the impact of the broad spectrum of observing systems as they contribute to the framework of distinct societal benefit areas. Results of the Assessment provide the foundation for the first U.S. National Plan for Civil Earth Observations (“The National Plan”). The first National Plan was published in July 2014 and the second National Plan was released in December 2019. The National Plan helps inform Federal investments in civil Earth observation systems. Its approach of routine assessment, improved data management, and coordinated planning is designed to enable stable, continuing, and coordinated Earth observation capabilities for the benefit of society.

USGEO is responsible for helping to formulate the National Plan and its updates. The draft National Plan is reviewed by the USGEO Subcommittee Member agencies and the Executive Office of the President before its release as a public document.

2014 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations (pdf)
2019 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations - Summary (PDF)
2019 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations - Full Report (PDF)