This database contains a variety of geographically referenced information about land surface properties. It is maintained by the Center for Environmental Informatics (CEI) , a part of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) .
The database was developed intially to support the PSU/EMS Earth System Science Center's interdisciplinary NASA/EOS investigation into "The Global Water Cycle: Extension Across the Earth Sciences". It has subsequently been extended to support other projects.
The data sets contained herein represent both data generated by ESSC investigators, and other data needed to support their investigations, obtained from sources such as the NASA DAACs, USGS hydrology and land surface characteristics databases, and the USDA Soil Conservation Service.
The actual data and most metadata (documentation and other descriptive information) are stored in a directory tree, with data for progressively smaller geographic areas being stored at greater depths in the tree. Each data set is in a separate subdirectory. In addition to one or more data files, each data set contains at least a brief "doc" file containing metadata for the dataset.