NODC Publishes netCDF Templates

The NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) recently published version 1.0 of their netCDF templates for scientific feature types. The templates conform to Unidata's netCDF Attribute Convention for Dataset Discovery (ACDD) and to the netCDF Climate and Forecast (CF) conventions. Building on these established conventions, the NODC netCDF templates capture NODC's experience in providing long-term preservation, scientific quality control, product development, and multiple data re-use beyond its original intent.

The templates provide recommendations on how to structure netCDF files that contain data of various scientific feature types (point data, time series data, and gridded data are examples of feature types). Names for variables and attributes are given, along with guidance on what each variable or attribute should contain.

From the announcement:

These templates are intended as a service to our community of Data Producers, and are also being used internally at NODC in our own data development efforts. We hope the templates will serve as good starting points for Data Producers who wish to create preservable, discoverable, accessible, and interoperable data. It is important to note that these templates do not represent an attempt to create a new standard, and they are not absolutely required for archiving data at NODC. However, we do hope that you will see the benefits in structuring your data following these conventions and NODC stands ready to assist you in doing so.

NODC has created thirteen templates for the most common combinations of eight different scientific feature types. They also provide real-world examples and a decision tree for selecting select the right template.

See the NODC NetCDF Templates page for additional information.

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