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<p>The network common data form (NetCDF), a data abstraction for storing and retrieving multidimensional data, is described. NetCDF is distributed as a software library that provides a concrete implementation of that abstraction. The implementation provides a machine-independent format for representing scientific data. Together, the abstraction, library, and data format support the creation, access, and sharing of scientific information. NetCDF is useful for supporting objects that contain dissimilar kinds of data in a heterogeneous network environment and for writing application software that does not depend on application-specific formats. Independence from particular machine representations is achieved by using a nonproprietary standard for external data representation. The discussion covers NetCDF data abstraction and interface; dimensions, variables, and attributes; direct access and hyperslab access, the NetCDF library; the data format; ncdump and ncgen utilities; experience, usability, and performance; limitations of NetCDF; and future plans.</p>

G. Davis and R. Rew, "Data Management: NetCDF: an Interface for Scientific Data Access," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 10, no. , pp. 76-82, 1990.
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