A description of NetCDF format is presented on this page with a goal
a most brief and popular introduction to the random web searcher that could
have very limited prior knowledge of the topic.
We are encouraging to check website of NetCDF
Introduction and Resources to
get academic answers.
Members of scientific and engineering communities are making a lot of
measurement from different instruments
and could want to be able to exchange them. The obvious problem that there
could be various ways to present
one set of data that create a virtual analogy of number of people´s
languages. Even more complicated as soon
there is several operation systems that move us forward to the analogy
with communications of different species
that was even broad discussed only in sci-fi literature yet.
One of the methods of solving this problem is an creation of universal
format of data. If it exists the problem
of conversion of data from one format to other could be tremendously simplified.
Let´s presume that we have N formats
of data. To be able to transfer date from one to another we should need
translators (note that software codes need to be written to translate from
format A to B is not the same as for
the task to convert from B to A). If we would have an universal format
the task will be extremely downsized
because only 2*N converters will need to be created for each operation
system. We will need only converters
in and out of this universal format. The NetCDF format is an attempt to
create such Universal DATA Format
or (network Common Data Format).
Let´s presume for specificity sake that we a measuring an concentration
of different elements on the surface of some sample. It doesn´t
matter for geology goal, space exploration or technology improving.
The data that we could want to write down are information about instrument,
operator, time of measurement, notes
about a sample and of course data of concentrations themselves. One can
differentiate short notes about experimental
conditions from data in general and named them attribute. An example
of attribute is "temperature=36.6 grad. C".
One can present it as plain text other to use statements like ""temperature=36.6" and "temperature units=C".
Second presentation has an advantage of universality but in general is a matter of style.
It is possible to implement both styles in NetCDF.
The attribute could be globally
related to all set of data in the file or locally related to one set of
data belongs to one variable.
The data itself could be presented as one or multidimensional arrays.
Technically all arrays in files
are one-dimensional. To describe structure of arrays of data a special
member of the format - dimension
are included. For two-dimension array they are analogs of number of rows
and columns in spreadsheet table.
In NetCDF file at first there are declaration of all available dimensions by name and size and then for each variable they are selected from the stock.
The variable can be considered as a set of data inside of all
collection of data presenting in file.
It can contain any number of local attributes and array of data each dimensional structure described by dimensions.
To have additional description of organization of data in NetCDF file
one can take a look on
that described a transformation
of data in XML format into NetCDF as soon XML format is reflected in readable
form a content of NetCDF file.
Jun. 30, 2017; 10:02 EST