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Big Data Program

NOAA generates tens of terabytes of data a day from satellites, radars, ships, weather models, and other sources. While these data are available to the public, it can be difficult to download and work with such large data volumes. NOAA’s vast wealth of data therefore represents a substantial untapped economic opportunity. The NOAA Big Data Program (BDP) provides public access to NOAA's open data on commercial cloud platforms through public-private partnerships. These partnerships remove obstacles to the public use of NOAA data, help avoid costs and risks associated with federal data access services, and leverage operational public-private partnerships with the cloud computing and information services industries.

A visual depiction of the mean nighttime sea surface temperature across the globe in 2006
Pathfinder Sea Surface Temperature
A visual depiction of the mean nighttime sea surface temperature across the globe in 2006 (NOAA)

The Big Data Program combines three incredibly powerful resources: NOAA's expansive collection of high-quality environmental data and expertise, the vast infrastructure and scalable computing capabilities of our industry partners, and the innovative energy of the American economy. The BDP currently works with three infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers to broaden access to NOAA’s data resources. These partnerships are designed to not only facilitate full and open data access at no net cost to the taxpayer, but also foster innovation by bringing together the tools necessary to make NOAA's data more readily accessible.