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Integrated global measurements and the information derived from these observations provide critical inputs for sound management decisions on a local national and international scale. For this reason, 72 nations and 44 international organizations have come together to form the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The purpose of GEOSS is to achieve comprehensive, coordinated and sustained observations of the Earth system to meet the need for timely, quality, long term global information. GEOSS builds on, and adds value to, existing regional, national and international Earth observation systems by coordinating their efforts, addressing critical gaps, supporting their interoperability, sharing information, reaching a common understanding of user requirements and improving delivery of information to users. GEOSS is a complex system of sensors, communication devices, storage systems, computational and other devices used to observe the Earth and gather the data needed for a better understanding of the Earth's processes. In addition, GEOSS includes models and processes to create information from the observational data. This presentation will give the history and details of the current status of GEOSS and its relevance to ocean applications as part of the review of IEEE OES technical committee programs.