privacy policy

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright

Privacy Policy and Act

The National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly the National Geophysical Data Center) website is provided as a public service by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS). Information presented on these web pages is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested. This policy covers privacy, disclaimers, security, and information collection practices.

When You Visit Our Website
We do not collect personally identifiable information (for example, name, address, phone number, email address) from users, regardless of age, unless you provide it to us (See "Information Submitted Through Web Forms" below).

We collect standard web log data:

  • Name of domain (for example,"" if you use a private internet access account, or "" if you are connecting from a university's domain)
  • IP address from which you access our website
  • Type of browser and operating system you use to access our website
  • Date and time you access our website
  • Internet address of the website from which you link to us
  • Web pages that you visit on our website
  • Status code indicating success or failure in rendering a web page on your browser

Our site captures and uses this information so we can provide better services to you. For example, we use the browser information to improve the functionality and format of our web pages. For website management and statistical purposes, we collect information such as which domains access our pages, which pages are accessed most frequently, and what time of day or week access to our pages is heaviest.

Use of Cookies
A small number of programs on our web pages use session cookies (one example is the Online Store). Cookies are used for your convenience to maintain "state" between pages and to coordinate search results from multiple programs within a session. The cookies disappear from your machine (expire) after your session ends. NESDIS does not maintain a historical database of cookies, nor does it use any other tracking method to profile customers.

Email Sent to NESDIS
When you send us an electronic mail message, you may be sending personal information. In these cases, we may retain the information not only to respond to your request, but also as a record of correspondence according to Department of Commerce guidelines.

Information Submitted Through Web Forms
If you use our website forms to contact us, we capture the information you provide and use it to respond to your comments, requests, and inquiries. This information may be maintained for future communications, but to the maximum extent of the law, is not provided to any other organization or entity. We also capture the address of the server from which you sent the form.

Providing any information to NESDIS is voluntary. Submitting voluntary information constitutes your consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose. In the case of website forms or the Online Store, you grant consent by clicking the "Submit" (or the "Continue" or "Send the Form" or similar) button (See "Scope of the NESDIS Privacy Policy" below).

Privacy Act Statement

Authority: The collection of this information is authorized under 5 U.S.C. § 301, Departmental regulations and 15 U.S.C. 1512, Powers and duties of Department.

Purpose: Name, email and address may be collected for those requesting data, so that they may open an account through which to receive the data.

Routine Uses: Disclosure of this information is permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Section 552a) to be shared among Department staff for work-related purposes. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all of the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/NOAA-11, Contact Information for Members of the Public Requesting or Providing Information Related to NOAA’s Mission.

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is voluntary; however, failure to provide accurate information may delay or prevent required contacts regarding archiving problems, proper archiving, and provision of data.

Sharing and Protection of Information
NESDIS does not share any of the personal information you provide with agencies outside of the Department of Commerce. To the maximum extent of the law, NESDIS does not distribute the information collected from this website, except for information or data you explicitly submit for redistribution. For example, scientific data submitted to NESDIS Data Centers for archiving are made available to customers and other public entities.

Interaction with Children
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 - Children may find educational data and information on various NESDIS websites, and they may interact with User Services personnel through electronic or other means. However, no personally identifiable information is collected from any website visitor unless it is voluntarily submitted to us as a request for services.

Scope of the NESDIS Privacy Policy
The NESDIS Privacy Policy applies only to the web pages of the National Environmental, Satellite, Data, and Information Service. Other NOAA and Department of Commerce organizations may have different Privacy Policies and/or information collection practices. You are encouraged to check the Privacy Statements when going to other NOAA web pages, or when following links to external web pages.

Visitors may voluntarily submit personal or business information in the course of transactions with a few NESDIS websites; in particular the Online Store, the CLASS site, the Direct Readout Survey Page, and the Emergency Beacon Registration Page.

You can view your rights as a website user under the Privacy Act by following this link:

Website Security
For website security purposes, and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, all traffic is monitored to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, otherwise cause damage, or to conduct criminal activity. To protect NESDIS websites from unauthorized use and to ensure its proper function, activities of all users are subject to monitoring and recording. Safeguards are in place to identify and prevent unauthorized attempts to access or harm our information systems. Anyone accessing NESDIS websites may be subject to such monitoring and is advised that if there is evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, the results of this monitoring shall be made available to the appropriate officials for possible prosecution. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information (or otherwise cause damage to any NESDIS websites) are strictly prohibited, and may be punishable under applicable federal law.

Google AnalyticsTM uses Google Analytics, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the federal government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies" (OMB M-10-22).

Here's how it works: Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a "cookie", so that it can recognize your computer if you visit our website in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.

Google Analytics does not collect personally identifiable information through its cookie and does not combine, match, or cross-reference information with any other information. Please review the Google Analytics privacy policy for additional information.

Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement tool will still have full access to While the details vary from browser to browsers, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie. Google Analytics uses a cookie that begins with: _utm.

Google EarthTM and Google MapsTM

Google Maps and Google Earth map information and photographic imagery are used under license by Google. NOAA data presented using Google Maps/Google Earth are in the public domain and made available in open standard KML/KMZ format. The map information and photographic imagery contain trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names and other distinctive brand features. This does not imply a NOAA endorsement of Google, Google Maps or Google Earth products or services.

Under the terms of the license, you are permitted to copy or use the Google Maps/Google Earth images on your site as long as Google Maps/Google Earth trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names and other distinctive brand features are not deleted or in any manner altered. Please note that you are subject to Google's privacy policy when using this service.


Disclaimer of Liability
While NESDIS makes every effort to ensure that its databases are error-free, errors do occur. We ask that you notify us immediately of any errors that you discover in our data. We will make every effort to correct them.

With respect to documents available from this server, neither the United States Government nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose; nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed; nor represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.

Disclaimer of Endorsement
Reference to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed on NESDIS websites do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

Disclaimer for External Links
The appearance of external links on NESDIS websites does not constitute endorsement of external websites or the information, products, or services contained therein by the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. NESDIS does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at external website locations. External links are provided for your convenience, and for reasons consistent with the NOAA mission.

Copyright Notice

As required by 17 U.S.C. 403, third parties producing copyrighted works consisting predominantly of the material produced by U.S. government agencies must provide notice with such work(s) identifying the U.S. Government material incorporated and stating that such material is not subject to copyright protection within the United States. The information on government web pages is in the public domain and not subject to copyright protection within the United States unless specifically annotated otherwise (copyright may be held elsewhere). Foreign copyrights may apply.