Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Gulten Wagner

Second Advisor

Dr Ron Oliver

Third Advisor

Dr Julie Johnson


A group of seventy six scientists and data managers in the Australian research agency CSIRO were surveyed to establish their needs and preferences in relation to information systems for Earth observation data. After study of available alternatives, three prototype Earth observation information management systems were installed and the user response was evaluated through interview of fifteen of the group. The prototypes consisted of web-based client servers which permitted users to interrogate databases of Earth observation datasets; to search for information about sensor or satellite performance, and to retrieve data and information products. The chosen systems were CILS, the CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) Information Location System; IDN, the CEOS International Directory Network; and JMS, NASA's Information Management System of EOSDIS, the Earth Observing System Data and Information System. For this study, no special effort was taken to populate the system directories and inventories with local data holdings, and the prototypes were essentially mirror sites of operational data management systems used in other parts of the world. While some of the interviewed scientists expressed enthusiasm for web based spatial information management approaches, all indicated that improvements should be sought in the prototypes to make them more user-oriented, intuitive, and responsive. Most of the interview group were experienced remote sensing researchers who had developed their own contacts with overseas peers and data providers. Several in this category expressed the vi