Several factors define participation in the Unidata Program. The primary factors are:
- Provision or use of scientific data sets
- Provision or use of data analysis and management software
- Support in the use of software and data (either receiving support or providing it
- Active participation in a virtual community of users who contribute to the
development and modification of software and data resources provided by the Unidata
Program Center (UPC)
- Participation in Unidata Governance
Participation in Unidata is subject to certain terms and conditions which are set forth
below. Individuals and institutions must identify themselves through a web-based
registration process prior to participating. This policy describes the services available
and the degree to which different organizations can participate.
Unidata is not a data center. However, through collaborations within the geosciences
community, Unidata gains access to data sets which are redistributed either directly or
indirectly (through its user community) at no cost, using a variety of data distribution
methodologies. To receive data (thus becoming an active participant in our data-sharing
community), participants must be affiliated with one of the following: a degree-granting
institution, or a not-for-profit institution with an education and/or research mission.
With regard to data distribution, all participants must comply with any applicable U.S.
export laws and regulations. See additional information on data
Sites participating in data exchange with the Unidata community may be asked to serve
data to other community sites as assigned by Unidata technical staff.
Provision of Software
Software packages supported by Unidata are available by downloading from the
Unidata web site or, in some cases, the software
project's GitHub repository. Software developed by Unidata
is licensed under the 3-Clause BSD License (BSD-3),
or a similar license. Other packages, developed by Unidata partners and distributed
by the UPC, have specific conditions on access and redistribution. Participants are
expected to review and accept the copyright or program-specific conditions for each
package downloaded and adhere to them. A basic table of limitations follows:
|Software Title or Group
||General Description of Limitations
||The AWIPS and GEMPAK software packages are freely available (full source code) to any individual
or institution. Unidata will only support unmodified versions subject to
||McIDAS software (full source code) is freely available to educational institutions.
Redistribution is prohibited without explicit written permission from the University
of Wisconsin, Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), the copyright holder of this software.
|These applications are copyrighted by UCAR and are intended to be freely available
with very minimal restriction.
Provision of Support
The degree to which Unidata can support its community is dependent on the resources
allocated from our sponsors. Currently, there are several levels of support available
from the UPC:
Support to Institutions
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. Institutions must provide a single point of contact for direct
support questions. Unidata staff will provide priority support to qualifying
organizations with a geoscience focus.
Support for McIDAS software acquired through the UPC is provided under the
above-conditions through the Unidata support team. SSEC (the software developers)
provides support only to the McIDAS User Group (MUG) members.
Unidata provides training in the use of some of its packages. Priority for enrollment in
this training is given to active participants from organizations offering courses for
credit in the geosciences.
Support to Individuals
The UPC administers and maintains several topical mailing lists and support archives
which act as an excellent source for problem resolution. These tools are freely available
for use by any individual identified to the UPC through its registration process. Unidata
does not provide direct email support to individuals who are not identified as the direct
point-of-contact or technical liason for a given institution.
The UPC maintains web-based information and documentation, including Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ's) which are accessible by any individual for any purpose without
Participation in the Unidata Virtual Community
The Unidata Program Center is a small group with limited resources. The success of the
UPC is heavily reliant upon the support of its user community. The more the community can
help itself, the more the UPC can spend resources on software improvements, developments,
and upgrades. Participants are strongly urged to participate in open, topical mailing
lists that support the enhancement of data holdings and software tools distributed by the
for more information about participation in our community.
Limitations and Exceptions
Unidata reserves the right to change its Participation Policy at any time.
Unidata will (on a limited basis) consider exceptions to policies for individuals or
organizations who fall outside of the current stated policy and desire access to certain
data or tools, if a collaboration can be formed which will enhance and strengthen our
community as a whole.
Unidata products and products associated with or distributed by the UPC are not intended
for operational use. There is no guarantee as to the quality of data or usability of any
software distributed through the Program Center or any of its participating entities.
UCAR/Unidata, for itself and its sponsors, makes no representations or affirmations of
fact with respect to the software or data made available to its participants. By
accepting this Participation Policy, Participant understands and accepts that any product
it receives from participation in the Unidata community is as is, with all faults. All
express and implied warranties of any kind, including the implied warranties of
merchantability for a particular purpose with respect to these products, are hereby
Neither UCAR nor its sponsors shall be liable for any direct, incidental, special or
consequential damages of any kind arising out of the use or the inability to use, any
product distributed or associated with UCAR/Unidata. Participants shall have no remedy
against UCAR, Unidata, or its sponsors for use of product it receives directly or
indirectly through the UPC. By accepting this Participation Policy, Participant agrees on
behalf of his/her self or his/her affiliated institution that it shall indemnify and hold
harmless UCAR, Unidata and its sponsors any and all liability, loss, cost or damage
(including reasonable attorneys' fees) arising out of or in connection with Participation
in the Unidata community.