Modelers of the earth's magnetic held look to the network of magnetic observatories to provide information on secular change. Others, studying the shorter period variations, want the observatories to provide digital, machine-readable data. Whatever the application, whether it be the data base for the International Geomagnetic Reference Field, time extrapolation for satellite surveys, or magnetospheric current studies, all users want more from the observatories than is presently available, especially from that part of the world composed largely of developing countries. Money might solve some of the problem, but it is generally unavailable. However, there are other factors, some of which are more amenable to solution.