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HDF and HDF-EOS Workshop XV

Mark Alonzo
Last week I attended the HDF and HDF-EOS Workshop XV in Riverdale, MD. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss HDF products, tools and libraries with engineers from The HDF Group, scientists from NASA, NOAA and NSIDC, as well as vendors, like Exelis VIS, who provide software tools to work with HDF. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the workshop. (I think I’m turning into a file format wonk.) I was particularly interested in learning more about HDF5 and netCDF-4 integration (netCDF-4 is built on HDF5). I’ve used the classic netCDF data model (with dimensions, variables and attributes) for a long time. Now, though, there’s the option to use the HDF5-compliant “extended” data model with groups and datasets. (IDL supports both; this is good.) I think it’ll be interesting to see how scientists who are used to the classic model adapt to this change. Several talks addressed the topic of HDF5/netCDF-4 interoperability. The complete workshop agenda is posted, along with abstracts and links to download each speaker’s slides. I gave a presentation on using IDL with Suomi NPP VIIRS data, similar to the ones I gave in March, but here I tried to emphasize how HDF5 made it very easy to access the data in a VIIRS file. My slides and example programs are available for download.

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