Although worldwide cooperation in surveying activity has had a long history, the continuation of international programs in this area is compromised by several factors, in particular by an overall decrease of financial support which has led to concentration of our limited resources and efforts on the large research instruments. In such a situation we believe it important not to lose sight of the fact that systematic data on the ‘full disk’ state of solar activity is still, and will remain, of great significance to students both of the Sun and of the Earth and its environment. As examples, we note that the large quantity of space data (e.g., on X-rays, EUV particles, and fields) cannot be fully studied without the supporting data obtained in classical ground-based optical and radio surveys; the same applies to magnetospheric observations.
Nor can we always know what critical future needs will be satisfied by our systematic daily surveys. An obvious example is the daily measure of sunspot area, others are provided by the Cartes de la Chromosphère and the Mount Wilson magnetograms which for years at a time have attracted little interest and quite suddenly have emerged as source data of inestimable value in quite unanticipated studies.