NetCDF (Network Common Data Form) is a data sharing protocol and library that is commonly used in large-scale atmospheric and environmental data archiving and modeling. The NetCDF tool described here, named NCWin and coded with Borland C+ + Builder, was built as a standard executable as well as a COM (component object model) for the Microsoft Windows environment. COM is a powerful technology that enhances the reuse of applications (as components). Environmental model developers from different modeling environments, such as Python, JAVA, VISUAL FORTRAN, VISUAL BASIC, VISUAL C+ +, and DELPHI, can reuse NCWin in their models to read, write and visualize NetCDF data. Some Windows applications, such as ArcGIS and Microsoft PowerPoint, can also call NCWin within the application. NCWin has three major components: 1) The data conversion part is designed to convert binary raw data to and from NetCDF data. It can process six data types (unsigned char, signed char, short, int, float, double) and three spatial data formats (BIP, BIL, BSQ); 2) The visualization part is designed for displaying grid map series (playing forward or backward) with simple map legend, and displaying temporal trend curves for data on individual map pixels; and 3) The modeling interface is designed for environmental model development by which a set of integrated NetCDF functions is provided for processing NetCDF data. To demonstrate that the NCWin can easily extend the functions of some current GIS software and the Office applications, examples of calling NCWin within ArcGIS and MS PowerPoint for showing NetCDF map animations are given. ?? The British Cartographic Society 2005.
Additional publication details
NCWin - A Component Object Model (COM) for processing and visualizing NetCDF data