Meeting at ESRI

Hi,

I was just at ESRI for a two-day meeting on multidimensional data
access, time series support, and groundwater modeling, organized by
David Maidment (CUAHSI and the University of Texas at Austin).  Norm
Jones from BYU gave a good presentation on his XMDF data model and
format, built on top of HDF5 and aimed at supporting hydrology and the
work being done by the Army Core of Engineers in ground water
modeling.  I gave a presentation on netCDF and discussed the
netCDF/HDF project briefly.  Other presentations covered ESRI plans
for time and temporal processing, groundwater data models,
hydro-geology models, and current status of 3D analyst tools.

The ESRI developers I talked to seemed interested in building in
direct access to netCDF and/or HDF5 data for their GIS tools rather
than depending on a conversion program to store the data in a form
they could already access.  ESRI wants to support the atmospheric,
climate, and ocean modelers as well as the hydrologists, and they
would also like to be able to easily get weather data into their
visualizations.

It's still possible ESRI may decide something else is higher priority
or the project is not practical for other reasons, but one of their
most influential developers seemed optimistic about providing support
for scientific data formats in the near future.

--Russ