NetCDF-3 (network Common Data Form ver3) 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.