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What is an NC file (NetCDF)?

Nc files are a format of file for save climate data in multi-dimensions and the user can view each element of dimensions such as Lat, Lon, Level, Time, or... NetCDF (Network Common Data Form) is a set of software libraries and self-describing, machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data. Version 4.0 (released in 2008) allows the use of the HDF5 data file format. ref

A NetCDF dataset contains dimensions, variables, and attributes, which all have both a name and an ID number by which they are identified. If you want to view the content of your NetCDF file, you can use NetCDF Viewer tool and find out the variables of your files and present how many dimensions each variable has. NetCDF Viewer shows to the user that how many elements are there in a dimension.

A dimension may be used to represent a real physical dimension, for example, time, latitude, longitude, or height. A netCDF dimension has both a name and a length.

Variables are used to store the bulk of the data in a netCDF dataset. A variable represents an array of values of the same type. A scalar value is treated as a 0-dimensional array. A variable has a name, a data type, and a shape described by its list of dimensions specified when the variable is created. A variable may also have associated attributes, which may be added, deleted or changed after the variable is created.A variable with the same name as a dimension is called a coordinate variable. It typically defines a physical coordinate corresponding to that dimension.

NetCDF attributes are used to store data about the data, similar in many ways to the information stored in data dictionaries and schema in conventional database systems. Most attributes provide information about a specific variable.

One of the important point about NetCDF files is: Since netCDF formats have contain particular characteristics of specific datasets, so the netCDF formats may require more space than special-purpose archive formats.

For working with NetCDF, scholars and researchers need to apply different programming languages, such as NCL, ArcGIS, MATLAB, and others. So working with NetCDF format files are not easy. In this regards, Agrimetsoft has tried to develop different versions of NetCDF for solving this problem with user-friendly NetCDF tools.

One of the applicable NetCDF tools which has been published by Agrimetsoft is: NetCDF Extractor tool. "NetCDF Extractor" is a windows software for extract and save data (time series) from NetCDF and NetCDF4 files. This version of NetCDF Extractor can extract data from several NetCDF files, simultaneously. When a user wants to extract data from several NetCDF files, simultaneously, he/she requires to load NetCDF files at a same time with together and then extract data.


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