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A new dynamic between science and technology is changing the management and analysis of environmental information. As a result of the expanding scope of environmental research, developers of environmental databases must now address difficult and diverse issues: the wide variety of data being considered for inclusion, the size and complexity of databases being collected; their design, development and utilization, the different scales of data collection; increasingly sophisticated analytical requirements; and the integration of data from various sources and disciplines. Increased attention to spatial variability, scale and the integration of basic and applied research to address societal issues has several implications for the management of scientific information. These new research directions have created a need for rapid and easier data analysis; timely, broad-scale, high-resolution data; new analytical approaches; better sampling resolution in space; and a shift in focus from data to information to knowledge. This will require the use of remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial statistics and other methods. Several challenges are discussed for future environmental information management and analysis systems: distributed analytic environments, database management systems, integrated GIS and remote sensing in the time domain use interfaces, visualization software and knowledge discovery, improved spatial sampling resolution and standardization.