OGC Approves Climate and Forecast (CF) extension to NetCDF Core data model standard

14 February 2013 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) membership has adopted the OGC CF-netCDF Data Model extension to the existing OGC Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) Core Encoding Standard version 1.0.

The CF-netCDF Data Model is a flexible data model widely used in climate and weather forecast systems and in other geoscience communities. The CF conventions define metadata that provide a definitive description of what the data in each netCDF variable represents, and the spatial and temporal properties of the data. This enables users of data from different sources to decide which quantities are comparable, and facilitates building applications with powerful extraction, regridding, and display capabilities. The candidate CF-netCDF Data Model extension to the existing OGC Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) Core Encoding Standard version 1.0 is the latest step in a longer-term plan for establishing CF-netCDF as an OGC standard for binary encoding. This will enable standard delivery of data in binary form via several OGC service interface standards, including the OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Sensor Observation Service (SOS) Interface Standards.
 
The OGC CF-netCDF encoding supports electronic encoding of geospatial data, specifically digital geospatial information representing space- and time-varying phenomena. NetCDF (network Common Data Form) is widely used internationally to communicate and store many kinds of multidimensional data, although it was originally developed for the Earth science community. The NetCDF data model is particularly well suited to providing data in forms familiar to atmospheric and oceanic scientists: namely, as sets of related arrays.
 
NetCDF was developed and is maintained and actively supported by the Unidata Program Center of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) ( www.unidata.ucar.edu), and UCAR is the OGC member that submitted this candidate standard to the OGC. The OGC NetCDF Core Encoding Standard has been formally recognized by US Government NASA and NOAA standards bodies. UCAR and other OGC members introduced the first NetCDF specification as a candidate OGC standard to encourage broader international use and greater interoperability among clients and servers interchanging data in binary form.
 
The CF-netCDF Data Model extension to the existing OGC Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) Core Encoding Standard version 1.0 is available along with other netCDF standards and a netCDF Primer at http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/netcdf .
 
The OGC is an international consortium of more than 480 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.

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