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Re: Binary encoding of coverages in netcdf

Lorenzo Bigagli wrote:
See comments inline...


"A netCDF dataset often contains many different variables (a
hundred or more is not uncommon for large model simulations). Because each variable has unique units, each becomes a seperate coverage." (We
could say something here about using multiple ranges when the domain is
the same, if we could have seperate units. Stefano, so you know if
WCS 1.1 allows that?)

Yes, it is possible to have a common domain (i.e. space and time) associated to multiple ranges characterized by different units.

Im not familiar with the "point sets" case, only the grid
(regular and irregular). Stefano, do you have an example?

raobs datasets (i.e. atmospheric vertical profiles) are good examples.

"I would recommend that the subsets of netCDF encoded coverages
returned by a WCS be consistent netCDF files themselves (not just data
chunks); a server may prune also unneeded dimensions, coordinate variables,
I strongly agree with this. How about:
" NetCDF encoded coverages returned by a WCS must be valid netCDF
files (not just data chunks). The server must return the requested
coverage(s) as a netCDF variable and its associated coordinate variables. If
the WCS request asks for a subset, the variable and its coordinates must be approprately subsetted. The server should remove unneeded
dimensions, variables, etc. not needed by the requested coverages. The exact

We may relax this requirement as in "The server MAY remove unneeded dimensions, variables, etc. (...)", as there is ambiguity in the meaning of "unneeded", which may make such a recommendation difficult to implement. Leaving it as an option is probably more appropriate to our current understanding of the implications related (see also http://rfc.net/rfc2119.html).

Yes, I SHOULD have said MAY ;^)

encoding must be documented and published as a NetCDF Convention; we recommend the CF-1.0 Convention, or variants of it as recommended
by the CF working groups."
The use of OPeNDAP URLs is a nice way to do it also. I'll have to

We also think it is a very elegant and practical way to access data.
Actually, we have designed one "flavour" of ncML-GML data access to leverage OPeNDAP, by referencing (subset and/or resampling of) published datasets.
The online implementation of WCS-G serves such datasets (see for instance scalarRangeSet/DataURL in http://athena.pin.unifi.it:8080/galeon/WCS-v1.0?REQUEST=GetCoverage&VERSION=1.0.0&TIME=2001-01-16T00:00:00Z,2002-12-07T00:00:01Z&SERVICE=WCS&COVERAGE=sst(time-lat-lon)&RESPONSE_CRS=EPSG&CRS=WGS84(DD)&FORMAT=ncML-GML&BBOX=1.0,-69.5,359.0,89.5&RESY=1.0&RESX=2.0 ).

Yes, this is a good way to do it for clients who know OpeNDAP. It is possible also to put that URL into nj22 and view it as a NetCDF dataset. However, then it wouldnt have the coordinate variables in it, so its not as "standalone" as you might like. But specifying the coordinates in the NcML-G still makes it a complete solution.

BTW, we use the Unidata OPeNDAP/THREDDS server and a few weeks ago we got the following feedback by Frank Warmerdam:

I tried checking out the WCS-G server.  The get coverage returns
a GML document with a data url pointing to a THREDDS
OPeNDAP server.   I don't actually support the GML (and am not
currently expecting to, though I might change my mind on that)
but I did try the OPeNDAP url.  Unfortunately it did not work
with my OPeNDAP client since it seems to depend on DAP 3.x
features that the THREDDS server lacks.  I get the following on my end.

 Warning 1: I connected to the URL but could not get a DAP 3.x version string
 from the server.  I will continue to connect but access may fail.
 gdalinfo: Error.cc:310: void Error::set_error_code(int): Assertion
`OK()' failed.
 <crash on uncaught C++ exception>

Do you have an idea of what may be wrong with it?

Ill check this out, thanks.

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