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The 5th Planetary Data Workshop and 2nd Planetary Science Informatics & Data Analytics Meeting Was A Huge Success: Information Now Publicly Available

August 24, 2021

Great news! All presentations from the 2021 Planetary Data Workshop and Planetary Science Informatics & Data Analytics meeting are now available to the public. To learn more about working with planetary data - such as processing pipelines, tools, artificial intelligence, software management, cloud computing, and even increasing inclusivity in the workplace, you can access the workshop program.

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LPI's 5th Planetary Data Workshop Banner
Photo Credit: LPI's 5th Planetary Data Workshop Banner. 

Meeting Summary: 

The combined 5th Planetary Data Workshop (PDW) and 2nd Planetary Science Informatics & Data Analytics (PSIDA) meeting was held virtually from June 28 to July 2, 2021.  As in previous years, goals for the meeting and workshop were to bring together data users, providers, engineers, developers, and researchers to discuss approaches, challenges, applications of informatics, technologies, and capabilities in planetary science. Participants had the opportunity to share knowledge, experience, and lessons learned in these fields and network with colleagues.

With sponsorship and coordination by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), the meeting supported more than 200 registrations, including 42 students, from over 100 international institutions. Over the course of five days, the meeting hosted 18 topical sessions including comprising 68 oral presentations and 33 virtual posters. All recorded talks, abstracts and e-posters are linked and available for public viewing through the workshop program.

Two keynote presentations were given during the workshop: Two keynote presentations were given during the workshop. Emily Lakdawalla (The Lakdawalla Group, LLC) and Becky McCauley Rench (NASA) presented the “Planetary Data Ecosystem Independent Review Board Findings,” discussing efforts by the review board to define a planetary data ecosystem environment, identify missing or overly redundant elements, and provide findings and prioritized recommendations for NASA’s Planetary Science Division. Kristen Bennett and Laszlo Keszthelyi (both from USGS) presented "Removing Barriers and Increase Inclusivity in the Planetary Science Community," emphasizing the many challenges people may face in the planetary science community and strategies for increasing inclusivity.

Topical sessions included presentations for analysis and visualization tools, planetary data processing pipelines, specific mission tools, software architecture and management, artificial intelligence and machine learning efforts, and cloud and scalable computing environments. Several sessions focused on best practices for archiving data and tools available from NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS) and ESA’s Planetary Data Archive (PSA). To support more open interaction across remote participants, eight “Birds-of-a-feather” sessions were also scheduled allowing for more informal discussions covering the same topics above, including a session on geologic mapping tools, community efforts for a Python environment called PlanetaryPy, and updates on available tools for deriving topography from stereo images.

To continue to encourage a strong international participation, the next workshop in the series, the 3rd PSIDA meeting, is planned for June 22– 24, 2022 and will be hosted by the European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid, Spain ( In the summer of 2024, the 6th PDW meeting will hopefully resume in Flagstaff, AZ. While both are planned as in-person meetings, there will likely be opportunities to join virtually.


The Meeting Summary was prepared by Trent Hare (USGS) and Tom Stein (Washington University, St. Louis) 


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