Flexible data import for McIDAS-V

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Thursday, 21 January 2010: 2:45 PM
B217 (GWCC)
David A. Santek, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and D. Parker, T. Jasmin, and J. Caron

Visualization software provides the bridge from data to information for the users; it is a key component for integrating disparate data to bring about an understanding of a geophysical state for researchers. However, the variety of data formats and the ease of importing and geolocating the data continue to be issues. Efforts within the Man computer Data Access System (McIDAS)-V have improved the situation at the programmatic level, but it is recognized that from the scientist's point-of-view there is not enough functionality at the user level to import data easily.

The primary mechanisms used in McIDAS-V to import satellite data are through the VisAD file adapters and McIDAS-X Abstract Data Distribution Environment (ADDE) servers, which retrieve data from remote servers or local files. This works well for specific data types and file formats for which servers or file adapters have been written. To address more generic formats, two areas are being investigated:

1. The ability to read in flat files (binary or text) and picture files (for example, GIF and JPEG) and assigning geolocation through a projection specification or tables of latitude/longitude. ENVI or McIDAS-X AXFORM header files facilitates the ease of importing the data.

2. The use of Unidata's network Common Data Form (netCDF) version 4 along with netCDF Markup Language (NcML) files to more easily handle a variety of Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) version 4 and 5 files. This is being applied to simulated imager and sounder data for the upcoming National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) mission.

The status of these efforts and future plans will be presented.