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Unidata NetCDF
The Unidata network Common Data Form (netCDF) is an interface for
scientific data access and a freely-distributed software library 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 current netCDF software
provides C interfaces for applications and data. Separate software
distributions available from Unidata provide Java, Fortran, and C++
interfaces. They have been tested on various common platforms.
NetCDF files are self-describing, network-transparent, directly
accessible, and extendible. `Self-describing' means that a netCDF file
includes information about the data it contains. `Network-transparent'
means that 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. `Direct-access' means that a small subset of a
large dataset may be accessed efficiently, without first reading through
all the preceding data. `Extendible' means that data can be appended to
a netCDF dataset without copying it or redefining its structure.
NetCDF is useful for supporting access to diverse kinds of scientific
data in heterogeneous networking environments and for writing
application software that does not depend on application-specific
formats. For information about a variety of analysis and display
packages that have been developed to analyze and display data in
netCDF form, see
For more information about netCDF, see the netCDF Web page at
You can obtain a copy of the latest released version of netCDF software
using a WWW browser or anonymous FTP from
Included in this distribution are: the C source for the netCDF data
access library, sources for the FORTRAN and C++ interfaces,
documentation for the netCDF library and utilities in the form of a
netCDF User's Guide, source for the netCDF utilities ncdump, ncgen,
and nccopy, and test programs to verify the correct implementation of
the netCDF library.
Copyright and licensing information can be found in the file
To install this package, please see the file INSTALL in the
distribution, or the (possibly more up-to-date) document:
The netCDF-3 C and FORTRAN-77 interfaces are documented in man(1)
pages in the distribution in files netcdf.3 and netcdf.3f,
respectively, or at
User's Guides for C, FORTRAN, and FORTRAN-90 are also available in
several forms from the same location.
A mailing list,, exists for discussion of
the netCDF interface and announcements about netCDF bugs, fixes, and
enhancements. For information about how to subscribe, see the URL
An archive of past postings to the netcdfgroup mailing list is available
for searching from the netCDF home page.
We appreciate feedback from users of this package. Please send
comments, suggestions, and bug reports to <>.
Please identify the version of the package (file VERSION).
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