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Climate Database Modernization Program


The Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP) was a program to image and key paper and microfilm records and to make them available on the web to members of the climate and environmental research community. Spanning 12 years, from 2000 to 2011, the program produced almost 56 million digital images from all types of physical media and enabled data keying projects to integrate new data into digital datasets.

NCEI also provided funding under CDMP for other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) agencies with a need to place images online and/or digitize data. Funding was provided through a proposal process, which culminated each November at CDMP's Data Access Workshop. At the height of the program, CDMP supported 97 tasks spread over seven NOAA line offices.

Image Access

The vast majority of the images scanned under CDMP are accessible through the NCEI-developed ‚ÄčEnvironmental Document Access and Display System, Version 2 (EV2) application. Access to EV2 is available to United States government employees and their contractors, educational institutions doing environmental research, and other researchers associated with NOAA projects. If you would like an account in EV2, please contact Commercial customers should call NCEI customer service at 828-271-4800 or e-mail for their data needs.

Access to historical climatological observations scanned under CDMP is available to the public through the NCEI Images and Publications System (IPS). The IPS system is a web interface for records stored within the EV2 system.

Major Campaigns

Stacks of surface observation forms, some dating back to the 19th century.

Two of CDMP's largest projects involved integrating additional U.S. in situ data into the sources of data already available to researchers and scientists. The goal of the "Forts Project" was to image and key surface observations from the 19th century, primarily 1820–1892. These data, collected mainly by the Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Army Signal Service, extended climate records from stations across the country back scores of years.

The second major data integration project was the Surface Airways Observations (SAO) project. This task captured and keyed Weather Bureau and National Weather Service (NWS) data from major city offices and airports since 1893.

International Partnerships

CDMP also coordinated several international projects. Data from Uruguay, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic were imaged and keyed. Upper air data rescue projects were conducted in six African nations: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, and Zambia. These countries were provided with technology to image their data locally and sent these images to CDMP for keying and uploading to EV2.

CDMP worked in conjunction with UK collaborators in an effort to locate resources to image the marine logbooks in the British Archives. These images were eventually transferred to CDMP for keying. CDMP also worked with the Meteorological Service of Canada to key some of the previously un-keyed logbooks from their Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) program.

Current Status

Data modernization and rescue continues on a limited scale at NCEI. The current focus is to continue to scan paper records from the NCEI physical archives, in addition to identifying foreign data holdings and notifying the originating countries of their existence. NCEI actively seeks partnerships to continue rescuing at-risk weather and climate records currently available only on physical media.