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[Support #MJA-592376]: FW: Unable to locat netcdf specification (UNCLASSIFIED)

Hi Jennifer,

> First, I want to thank you very much for answering all of my questions
> on the NetCDF-4 standard and helping me prepare a package to submit
> this as a standard in the Department of Defense Information Technology
> Standards Registry (DISR). Since my original submission, I have gotten
> a number of questions and the latest round of these I feel very
> unqualified in answering. I am hoping one of you might be able to help
> (see attached email). It all boils down to:
> 1. What standards body developed and now maintains this standard? 

We (UCAR) develop and maintain the software, but several organizations
and standards bodies have endorsed its use, including NASA, OGC, and
FGDC.  For more information on these endorsements, see:


OGC maintains their versions of netCDF standards, which were adapted
from the NASA standards.

In addition, these Library of Congress descriptions, which they
maintain, include official information about the standards status of
three netCDF format variants:

  NetCDF-3, Network Common Data Form, version 3

  NetCDF-4, Network Common Data Form, Version 4

  NetCDF-4C, Network Common Data Form, Version 4, Classic Model  

> 2. Is it an international, national, or military standard? 

FGDC's endorsement is as a national standard.  The NASA and OGC
standards are used internationally.

> 3. Is an open process used to develop and maintain this standard? 

The OGC and NASA processes are open.  I don't know what FGDC's process
was.  The Library of Congress openly solicited comments on their
descriptions of the formats.

> They don't believe that UCAR is a standards development organization
> (maybe they are correct) and they say "You need to convince us". Is
> there any documentation that supports UCAR being a standards body?

No, UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of research universities that
serves as a hub for research, education, and public outreach for the
atmospheric and related Earth sciences community.  Among its many
activities is the development of software and infrastructure that may
be adopted for use by other organizations and that may be endorsed as
standards for more general use.  That's how netCDF became a standard.


> Frank,
> Do you know if someone at Navy is currently participating in the
> development and/or maintenance process? Does someone in DoD pay a
> membership fee to UCAR? I may be able to find out the answer to the
> second question by doing some research on the website. But if anyone
> knows the answer, please speak-up!
> Thanks!
> Jennifer D. Hailes
> NAVOCEANO Functional Data Manager; NGDS Project Lead 
> Oceanographic Information System (OIS) Program Office (0TO)
> 1002 Balch Blvd
> Stennis Space Center, MS 39529
> (228) 688-5682
> address@hidden
> address@hidden

Russ Rew                                         UCAR Unidata Program
address@hidden                      http://www.unidata.ucar.edu

Ticket Details
Ticket ID: MJA-592376
Department: Support netCDF
Priority: Normal
Status: Closed