Unidata, funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, is one of eight programs in the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Office of Programs (UOP). UOP units create, conduct, and coordinate projects that strengthen education and research in the atmospheric, oceanic and earth sciences.
The Unidata Program Center, as the leader of a broad community:
Under our current plans, we are:
The Unidata Program helps researchers and educators acquire and use earth-related data. Most of the data are provided in "real time" or "near-real time" — that is, the data are sent to participants almost as soon as the observations are made. Unidata is a data facilitator, not a data archive center. We provide a mechanism whereby educators and researchers, by participating in our Internet Data Distribution (IDD) system, may subscribe to streams of current data that interest them.
Unidata develops, maintains, and supports a variety of software packages. Most of these packages are developed at the Unidata Program Center (UPC), while a few others originated externally, but are modified, maintained, and supported at the UPC. Software provided by Unidata is available at no charge, but there are conditions on accessing or obtaining support for some packages.
The Unidata Program Center continuously looks for new ways to make its data and tools available to a broader, more diverse audience. At times this is accomplished by embarking on new projects which will help extend Unidata systems into new arenas.
Providing world-class support to its community is at the heart of the Unidata Program. Maintaining the highest possible level of service in the face of significant increases in data options, volumes and tools, as well as in the number and diversity of the community, is a challenge that the Unidata Program Center embraces. Unidata provides direct support via email for its software packages to institutions offering college-level courses for credit, and to non-profit institutions with education or research missions.
Unidata is a diverse community of education and research institutions vested in the common goal of sharing data, tools to access the data, and software to analyze and visualize the data. We also place strong emphasis on community-based governance. Unidata's governing committees facilitate consensus building for future directions for the program and establish standards of involvement for the community.