Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 08 Issue 02

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Volume 08, No. 2


THE OCEANOGRAPHER’S TOOLKIT • Oceans of Data: Oceanographic CD-ROMs for Research and Education

Elizabeth Smith
First Paragraph

Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) technology has been used for a scant 7 years in oceanography, mainly for the distribution of data by the national archives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In the early days of CD-ROM, skepticism was prevalent. CD-ROMs were too flashy for “real” oceanographers. CDROM drives were expensive and there were very few collections of data published on CD-ROM to warrant the expense. It was a nice experiment but that was all. Today, a myriad of factors including low cost, convenience, efficiency, longevity, and the huge volumes of data available all have helped prove CD-ROM’s utility as an archive, distribution, exchange and backup medium for oceanographic data. In this article, I will discuss the brief evolution of CD-ROM technology and provide a list of” resources for ocean data and information available on CD-ROM.


Smith, E. 1995. Oceans of data: Oceanographic CD-ROMs for research and education. Oceanography 8(2):67–70, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1995.24.

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