NetCDF (network Common Data Form) is an interface for array-oriented
data access and a freely-distributed collection of software libraries
for C, Fortran, C++, and perl that provides an implementation of the
interface. The NetCDF library also defines a machine-independent
format for representing scientific data. Together, the interface,
library, and format support the creation, access, and sharing of
scientific data. The NetCDF software was developed at the Unidata
Program Center in Boulder, Colorado.
NetCDF data is:
o Self-Describing: A NetCDF file includes information about the
data it contains.
o Network-transparent: A NetCDF file is represented in a form that
can be accessed by computers with different ways of storing
integers, characters, and floating-point numbers.
o Direct-access: A small subset of a large dataset may be accessed
efficiently, without first reading through all the preceding
o Appendable: Data can be appended to a NetCDF dataset along one
dimension without copying the dataset or redefining its
structure. The structure of a NetCDF dataset can be changed,
though this sometimes causes the dataset to be copied.
o Sharable: One writer and multiple readers may simultaneously
access the same NetCDF file.