FWD: RE: netCDF Utilities

  • To: netCDF/HDF Design Team
  • Subject: FWD: RE: netCDF Utilities
  • From: GRIFFIOEN@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Hank Griffioen 301-513-1669)
  • Date: Tue, 12 May 1992 15:24:22 -0400 (EDT)
DRAFT netCDF/ HDF Design Document

> NetCDF grew out of the experience of CDF (common Data Format), developed at 
> As far as the netCDF/ HDF effort is concerned, the main difference between 
> netCDF and 
> CDF is that CDF stores each variable object in a seperate file, whereas 
> netCDF stores 
> all of its data in a single file.  It is a secondary goal to also support 
> CDF.  Such 
> support will not be part of the initial release.

This statement is not correct.  CDF allows for single file OR multi file 
and has done so for over a year.  The multi file is used in some cases because 
it is a bit 
faster. CDF also has host and network incodings.  A CDF can be converted from a 
binary format to a format that is a native binary format of the machine the CDF 
is on.  The 
main difference between netCDF and CDF is in the tools.  The NASA CDF format 
has tools to 
subset any CDF into any dimension on many platforms.  For example if I have a 
global CDF with 
DATE,LAT,LON, and TEMP variables in a CDF I can enter a subset of DATE,LAT,LON 
and generate a 
flat ASCII file or a smaller CDF.  The tools work on SUN, HP, SGI, VMS, CRAY, 
IBM, and DOS. 
There is a port in progress to port the software to the MAC.  CDF also has 
graphic tools to 
view CDF data.  One of these tools, CXIT, currently runs under X and will be 
released soon 
for the MAC.

   We have a current CD-ROM with this CDF data that contains over sixty GEDEX 
data sets.  
Sixty of the most important climate change data sets, over 1100 mb of data on 
two CD-Roms.  
The CD-Rom is free of charge. The tools run on SUN, HP, SGI, VMS, and DOS.  All 
software is 
on the CD-ROM.  The software will allow the user to quickly extract data from 
the CD-Rom into 
ASCII files.  For more information on the GEDEX CD-ROM contact NCDS USO at 
NCDSUSO@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  For more information on CDF contact 

                      Hank Griffioen