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Supporting other data formats

Hi guys,

We're looking at phase two of the project I'm working on at the moment. Phase one involved hooking up our weirdo database to OpenDAP, and it looks that that will be a success. There's one thing that's not as wonderful as we might hope, and a couple of cool extra things we'd like to do.

In order to cope with observational data stored in BUFR format, we've had to write scripts for conversion to NetCDF prior to serving it with thredds. I don't really like messing about in thredds code if I can help it, on account of it makes code maintainance that much harder. So we convert to NetCDF on a product-by-product basis. But it would be way cool if we could serve BUFR data more generally and without the conversion step. So my question is : does anyone on this list care much about BUFR data, and is anyone thinking much about how it might fit into an OpenDAP context?

The other angle is from the GIS world rather than the data sharing world. We'd love to publish some of our data sets in such a way that GIS packages can read them. To the best of my knowledge, no GIS package reads OpenDAP or even NetCDF. This means we've either got to do a conversion step from NetCDF into something that the GIS packages can read, and then serve it out using a different server - like a shapefile server for instance. So we would have to choose specific products to make available, provide shapefile derivatives from our hi-res NetCDF data, and tell people to go look there. It's not the worst plan I've ever heard, but has anyone here heard about any efforts to integrate OpenDAP more tightly with GIS software?


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