Discussion Paper

The Value of Information: A Background Paper on Measuring the Contribution of Space-Derived Earth Science Data to National Resource Management

May 31, 2005 | Molly K. Macauley


This study, prepared at the request of the Office of Earth Science at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), describes a general framework for conceptualizing the value of information and illustrates how the framework might be used to value information from earth science data collected from space. The framework serves two purposes. One purpose is provision of a common basis by which to conduct and evaluate studies of the value of earth science information that serves a variety of uses, from improving environmental quality to protecting public health and safety. The second purpose is to better inform decisionmakers about the value of data and information. Decisionmakers comprise three communities: consumers and producers of information, public officials whose job is to fund productive investment in data acquisition and information development (including sensors and other hardware, algorithm design and software tools, and a trained labor force), and the public at large.