National Aeronautics and Space Administration

M-13-13 Milestone 4 - August 31st 2014

OMB Review In Progress: OMB is currently reviewing the agency for this milestone. This review status indicator will change once the review is complete.

Leading Indicators

These indicators are reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget

Review Status in-progress
Reviewer Amelie Koran
Last Updated September 18, 2014, 10:13 am EDT by Amélie E. Koran

Assessment Summary

Inventory Composition

Public Dataset Status

There is no schedule describing progress and milestones of future data asset updates/releases. Needs more schedule detail if these data set goals have been met, and schedule adjusted if not.

Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Inventory Updated this Quarter
3484 Number of Datasets
Number of APIs
Schedule Delivered Crawl details
1 Bureaus represented
2 Programs represented
3469 Number of public datasets
9 Number of restricted public datasets
6 Number of non-public datasets
Inventory > Public listing
13836 Percentage growth in records since last quarter
Schedule Risk for Nov 30, 2014
Spot Check - datasets listed by search engine
Agency provides a public Enterprise Data Inventory on
License specified Crawl details
Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
3478 Number of Datasets Crawl details
Number of Collections Crawl details
3478 Number of Public Datasets with File Downloads Crawl details
Number of APIs Crawl details
Total number of access and download links Crawl details
Quality Check: Links are sufficiently working Crawl details
Quality Check: Accessible links Crawl details
Quality Check: Redirected links Crawl details
Quality Check: Error links Crawl details
Quality Check: Broken links Crawl details
3449 Percentage growth in records since last quarter
99.9 Valid Metadata Crawl details
/data exists Crawl details
/data.json Crawl details
Harvested by
Views on for the quarter

Provides two ways for stakeholders to contact agency regarding open data. NASA does not provide a narrative of their feedback process.

Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Description of feedback mechanism delivered Crawl details
Data release is prioritized through public engagement
Feedback loop is closed, 2 way communication
Link to or description of Feedback Mechanism

OGC not identified in process - however, consultation with NASA indicates that they leave the review process for many of the data sets to the owners - built-in trust relationship. Data publication process could use more detail.

Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Data Publication Process Delivered Crawl details
Information that should not to be made public is documented with agency's OGC

Could use/leverage more of the defined roles for open data activities

Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Deborah Diaz Open Data Primary Point of Contact
POCs identified for required responsibilities
Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Identified 5 data improvements for this quarter
Primary Uses
Value or impact of data
Primary data discovery channels
User suggestions on improving data usability
User suggestions on additional data releases
Digital Analytics Program on /data

Automated Metrics

These metrics are generated by an automated analysis that runs every 24 hours until the end of the quarter at which point they become a historical snapshot

Expected Data.json URL (From Directory)
Resolved Data.json URL
Number of Redirects 1 redirects
HTTP Status 200
Content Type application/json
Valid JSON Valid
Datasets with Valid Metadata 99.9%(3476 of 3478)
Valid Schema Invalid
For more complete and readable validation results, see the full schema validator results
Schema Errors There are validation errors on 2 records

Errors on record 3456:
  • Invalid email
Errors on record 3457:
  • Invalid email
Datasets 3478
Datasets with Distribution URLs 100% (3478 of 3478)
Total Distribution URLs 7235
Public Datasets 3469
Restricted Public Datasets 9
Non-public Datasets 0
Bureaus Represented 1
Programs Represented 2
File Size 6.01MB
Last modified Tuesday, 05-Aug-2014 10:16:46 EDT
Last crawl Saturday, 30-Aug-2014 00:10:26 EDT
Analyze archive copies Analyze archive from 2014-08-31
/data page
Expected /data URL (From Directory)
Resolved /data URL
Redirects 1 redirects
HTTP Status 200
Content Type text/html
Last modified Wednesday, 04-Dec-2013 15:10:07 EST
Last crawl Saturday, 30-Aug-2014 00:10:26 EDT
Expected /digitalstrategy.json URL (From Directory)
Resolved /digitalstrategy.json URL
HTTP Status 200
Content Type application/json
Valid JSON Valid
Last modified Thursday, 28-Aug-2014 15:59:21 EDT
Last crawl Saturday, 30-Aug-2014 00:10:27 EDT
Digital Strategy

Date specified: Tuesday, 28-Feb-2017 10:30:31 EST

Date of digitalstrategy.json file: Thursday, 28-Aug-2014 15:59:21 EDT

1.2.4 Develop Data Inventory Schedule - Summary

Summarize the Inventory Schedule

NASA was founded on the principles of transparency and openness via the 1958 Space Act with requires NASA to “provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning the activities and the results thereof.” NASA datasets are available across a variety of Agency websites and portals for use by the public. We are committed to making our data as accessible as possible, and are working with our Mission Directorates to systematically identify, collect, and format existing data that is routinely made available through open sources, most often mission program websites. 

The 2014 inventory has grown extensively. Updates included 1000 new datasets in Earth Sciences, 51 new datasets in Space Science, 50 new datasets in Space Technology, 375 new datasets in Human Spaceflight, and 55 new datasets in Aeronautics.

1.2.5 Develop Data Inventory Schedule - Milestones

TitlePublication of updated PDL
DescriptionThis major effort consists of mapping currently known datasets to the Project Open Data Schema and ensuring publication into PDL JSON format for harvesting into
Milestone Datemonthly
Description of how this milestone expands the InventoryNASA is using the Project Open Data metadata schema to build the Public Data Lists and the Enterprise Data Inventory., We are continually adding datasets owned by NASA's Mission Directorates and other functional offices. We are developing an agency-level NASA Information Architecture Management (NIAM) process to help us share and reuse the data across the agency, and allow our researchers to more easily identify common research datasets across agencies. The information architecture is one of our Open Government Plan flagship initiatives. We are making significant progress with common metadata, contract language, and search capacity. As we mature this process, identification of datasets will be more streamlined so that we can add new agency data to our inventory
Description of how this milestone enriches the InventoryThe data from each Mission Directorate is unique; therefore, expanding the inventory greatly. NASA currently has over 3000 datasets within the catalog and will continue to expand this through collaboration with the Mission Directorates and through our customer engagement methods such as challenges and prizes competitions. NASA has enriched the data by applying categories as seen on The categories include Aeronautics, Earth Science, Climate, Engineering, Institutional, Life Science, Operations, and Space Science. These categories were identified by the NASA Open Innovation Team based on NASA mission data most frequently accessed via the program websites or customer-facing programs.
Description of how this milestone opens the InventoryEach monthly milestone adds new datasets to open the inventory. The NASA Open Innovation Team collaborates with the data owners to make the datasets available in machine-readable format for ease of use by our customers and the public. As an engineering and science agency, NASA has protocols to ensure sensitive data, such as ITAR-related or privacy data is secured. NASA has always and will continue to proactively release our non-sensitive scientific data for the benefit of the general public. This not only increases the level of transparency and accountability, but also improves the timely sharing of the data for better science and technology. One of the examples of NASA’s commitment to proactively disclose information is our Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program. The STI program is a critical component in the worldwide activity of scientific and technical aerospace research and development. This program houses over 4 million documents. Yes, we have our work cut out to convert these documents into machine-readable format – with no additional funded authorized by Congress to make this happen. NASA places a high priority on protecting all our sensitive unclassified information (SBU) created, collected, maintained, and managed on behalf of NASA. Among the various categories of SBU, privacy information (identifiable form, personally identifiable information, and information subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, are among the most sensitive, requiring multiple levels of protection and compliance with federal standards and laws. Meeting these requirements ensures that NASA complies with all related federal laws and standards, and ensures NASA and the federal government retain the public trust. All system, application, and information owners must fully comply with NASA Privacy Policy and Procedures, and all employees are required to maintain a state of awareness and training that ensures we are able to appropriately protect such information. NASA’s Privacy Page provides greater detail The Open Innovation team defers to the strictly-defined processes within each mission program and organization to ensure the data can be made available to the public. Once NASA data is deemed open by the technical experts through their processes and the agency privacy review process, the Open Innovation team converts it to machine-readable format for inclusion in the data inventory.

1.2.6 Develop Customer Feedback Process

Describe the agency's process to engage with customers

NASA employs several mechanisms to engage our customers, increase transparency and solicit the public's input and feedback;
(1) digital engagement The agency's data portal features a customer data suggestion engine ( which allows NASA to
solicit desired datasets from citizens.  Citizens can inquire about and suggest datasets important to them and their work
GitHub: NASA maintains a large Organization on whereby all of the NASA open source project issue trackers are actively monitored by software developers engaged with the community The NASA Open blog conveys important work within the agency's Open Innovation program and allows citizens to engage in dialog around topics using comments/discussion  - NASA's newly released API portal directly supports digital engagement by both conveying how to leverage NASA Open APIs as well as how citizen developers can contribute to the ever-expanding APIs available.
(2) stakeholder outreach (International Space Apps Challenge, Open Innovation Pavilion, NASA Tournament Lab, social media).
NASA's multifaceted customer engagement strategy enables us to understand the problems our data end users face and utilize that information to prioritize data set releases. NASA will continue to embark on ambitious citizen engagement through crowdsourcing, citizen science initiatives and our challenge portfolio throughout the fiscal year to infuse innovation, ensure we are providing valuable data to the public, as well as, spur new ways to do business in the federal government.

1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process

Describe the agency's data publication process

NASA takes seriously its responsibility to increase public access to our scientific, research and program data while observing precautions related to privacy, confidentiality, security, or other restrictions to release permitted by law.

Identify: The NASA Open Innovation Team continues to collaborate with the agency Mission Directorates to identify, collect, and format existing terabytes of data that are routinely made available through open sources, most often mission program websites. Captured data has already been technically reviewed at the program level. 
Review: The data is reviewed in standard processes in terms of all privacy, confidentiality, security, and other legal requirements. Office of the General Counsel consults as needed where there are questions about recommendations. 
Publish: Data available on the mission websites is converted to machine-readable format using the Open Data standards, published on to allow CRUD operations on identified data sets for our agency public data list, and subsequently harvested by the process for publication. Other data release channels include mission program and project websites, journals, and presentations at meetings and workshops. 

Concerning restricted data: NASA data restricted under ITAR (International Trade in Arms Regulations), EAR (Export Administration Regulations), SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research), trade secret/commercial confidential or subject to Section 303(b) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act is considered to be SBU (Sensitive But Unclassified) and shall be marked with the appropriate notice (ITAR, EAR, SBIR, etc.) in all appropriate locations. Release or distribution of the same information by NASA contractors is subject to the same notice.