[ESIP-all] Review and Comment Period on NODC netCDF Templates, Feb 20-Mar 12

Kenneth S. Casey kenneth.casey at noaa.gov
Mon Feb 20 14:06:29 EST 2012

Dear Colleagues,

The NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) has developed DRAFT netCDF templates based on what are called "feature types" by Unidata and CF. These templates conform to Unidata's netCDF Attribute Convention for Dataset Discovery (ACDD) and netCDF Climate and Forecast (CF) conventions. Adding to these established conventions, NODC also provides several recommendations for both netCDF variables and attributes. These best practices capture NODC's experience in providing long-term preservation, scientific quality control, product development, and multiple data re-use beyond its original intent.  These DRAFT templates are intended as a service to our community of Data Producers, and are also being used internally at NODC in our own data development efforts. We hope the templates will serve as good starting points for Data Producers who wish to create preservable, discoverable, accessible, and interoperable data. It is important to note that these templates do not represent an attempt to create a new standard, and they are not absolutely required for archiving data at NODC. 

To make these DRAFT templates as robust, accurate, and understandable as possible, we are opening them up for public review and comment. Between February 20 and March 12, please review the materials presented here and provide your comments using the form at: NODC netCDF Template Comment Form. If the form presents a problem for you, simply email your comments to Ken Casey, NODC Technical Director, at Kenneth.Casey at noaa.gov. (Please don't hit reply-to-allm however!)  

There are essentially three components we are asking for your feedback on: 1) The set of 13 templates, in the ASCII representation of a netCDF file known as CDL along with their corresponding real-world examples; 2) A decision tree to help you decide which of the templates to use; and 3) A table providing guidance and recommendations on creating the netCDF variable and global-level attributes. We welcome your feedback on the overall concept of providing these netCDF templates to the community as well. All three of these components are detailed in the sections below.

By March 19, NODC will respond to the comments received. We will make any adjustments necessary and appropriate, and publish a Version 1 of the NODC netCDF Templates on our website by March 26.

Please redistribute this announcement to anyone you believe would be interested in participating, and apologies in advance for any cross-postings.  

Thank-you, and please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions.

-Ken Casey

[NOTE: The opinions expressed in this email are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect official NOAA, Department of Commerce, or US government policy.]
Kenneth S. Casey, Ph.D.
Technical Director
NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring MD 20910
301-713-3272 ext 133

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