There are several wide-area computer networks around the world that are used extensively by the space and Earth science community. These networks can be grouped by the computer communications protocol that they implement such as TCP/IP, NJE, X.25 and DECnet. The Internet (or TCP/IP Internet) uses TCP/IP, BITNET uses NJE, the international public packet switch network use X.25, and the DECnet Internet uses DECnet. Figure 1 illustrates the current computer connectivity in the world for the TCP/IP Internet, BITnet, other smaller networks and regions where no international computer connectivity exists. The DECnet Internet connectivity covers much of the same area as the TCP/IP connectivity map.
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