The last decade has seen rapid growth in the number of online data sets, tools, and research infrastructures many of which are coordinated by separate communities in the Earth, space, and environmental sciences. Notable efforts include GEO, EPOS, ENVRI, ESGF, ESIP, CUHASI, AuScope, EDI, EarthCube, OneGeology, ODIP, IGSN, DataOne and many more. In Europe, many of these activities are now connected to upcoming European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative.
There are common technological, policy, and science challenges that each is trying solve, often in isolation. Although standards, vocabularies, formats, etc are cohesive within each community, there are sufficient differences that make it hard to integrate data across them and beyond to other disciplines. Similar barriers exists from different policies regarding licenses, access, citation and publishing practices. The time is ripe to synchronise efforts to create globally connected networks of Earth, Space and Environmental Science data, information systems, software and researchers to create a ‘cloud’ of networked infrastructures.
Papers are solicited from those building community specific systems or from those trying to resolve the challenges of internationally linking multiple communities to create networked environments for developing common global solutions for more efficient and effective use of limited, available funding.