RCE Podcast Looks at NetCDF Network Common Data Format

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In this RCE Podcast, Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with the authors of NetCDF. NetCDF is a set of software libraries and self-describing, machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data.

Unidata’s Network Common Data Form (netCDF) is a set of software libraries and machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data. It is also a community standard for sharing scientific data.

Data in netCDF format is: ™

  • Self-Describing. A netCDF file includes information about the data it contains. ™
  • Portable. A netCDF file can be accessed by computers with different ways of storing integers, characters, and floating-point numbers. ™
  • Scalable. Small subsets of large datasets in various formats may be accessed efficiently through netCDF interfaces, even from remote servers. ™
  • Appendable. Data may be appended to a properly structured netCDF file without copying the dataset or redefining its structure. ™
  • Sharable. One writer and multiple readers may simultaneously access the same netCDF file. ™
  • Archivable. Access to all earlier forms of netCDF data will be supported by current and future versions of the software.

Russ Rew

Russ Rew is a semi-retired computer scientist who helped develop and lead several open software projects at UCAR/Unidata since the late 1980’s, including netCDF. He has served as a member of the Governance Panel for the CF Conventions, an international standard for earth science metadata. He resides in Boulder with his wife Juli, who publishes ThirdFlatiron Anthologies containing short science fiction, fantasy, and humor submissions. He enjoys craft microbrews, corgis, mathematics, cosmology, and riding and periodically crashing his bicycle.

Ward Fisher

Ward Fisher is a computer scientist with a background in machine learning and computer vision. He has been at Unidata/UCAR since 2012, working on the netCDF project as well as various cloud initiatives at Unidata. He lives in Colorado with his wife Kelly and son Sammy, and spend much of their time either in the mountains or in Denver. Besides writing scientific software, he is exploring 3d printing and emerging VR/AR technologies.

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