NOAA Satellite and Information Service
Why use netCDF
- NetCDF is used extensively in the atmospheric and oceanic science
- NetCDF is a portable self-describing binary data format.
- NetCDF is network-transparent, meaning that it can be accessed
by computers that store integers, characters and floating-point
numbers in different ways.
- NetCDF provides direct-access: a small subset of a large dataset
may be accessed efficiently, without first reading through all
the preceding data.
- NetCDF is appendable: data can be appended to a NetCDF dataset
along one dimension without copying the dataset or redefining
- NetCDF datasets can be read and written in a number of languages,
these include C, C++, FORTRAN, idl, Python, Perl, and Java.
- The different language implementations are freely available from UNIDATA
or from other mirror sites
- Several graphics packages support netCDF input, making it very
easy to display and analyse netCDF datasets. For instance FERRET provides
both command line and graphical user interfaces for displaying
and analysing gridded data.
- NetCDF is completely and methodically documented in UNIDATA's NetCDF
- Several groups have defined conventions for netCDF files,
to enable the exchange of data.