June 1, 2012 – The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®)membership seeks comments on an OGC candidate standard, the Network Common DataForm (NetCDF) NetCDF Enhanced Data Model Extension Encoding Standard.  This document specifies an extension to theexisting OGC Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) Core Encoding Standard version 1.0.

The OGC netCDF encoding supports electronic encoding ofgeospatial data, specifically digital geospatial information representingspace- and time-varying phenomena. NetCDF(network Common Data Form) is widely used internationally to communicateand store many kinds of multidimensional data, although it was originallydeveloped for the Earth science community. The netCDF data model is particularly well suited to providing data informs familiar to atmospheric and oceanic scientists: namely, as sets ofrelated arrays. NetCDF was developedand is maintained and actively supported by the Unidata Program Center (http://www.unidata.ucar.edu) of the University Corporation forAtmospheric Research (UCAR).

The netCDF classicdata model has previously been established as the core OGC CF-netCDFstandard.  With this extension to thecore standard for the enhanced data model, complex data structures can berepresented very easily, allowing for more efficient programming. Inperformance-critical applications, the enhanced model provides significantbenefits. Moreover, if existing HDF5 (Hierarchical Data Format, release 5)applications that depend on groups, user-defined types, unsigned types, or stringsproduce or use these data, the netCDF enhanced data model is required. Therecently introduced candidate NetCDF Enhanced Data Model ExtensionEncoding Standard is the latest stepin a longer-term plan for establishing CF-netCDF as an OGC standard for binaryencoding, which will enable standard delivery of data in binary form viaseveral OGC service interface standards, including the OGC Web Coverage Service(WCS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Sensor Observation Service (SOS)Interface Standards.

The candidate OGC NetworkCommon Data Form (NetCDF) NetCDF Enhanced Data Model Extension EncodingStandard and information about submitting comments on this document areavailable at  http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/requests/88.The public comment period closes on July 1, 2012.

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 445 companies,government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating ina consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGCStandards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web,wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empowertechnology developers to make geospatial information and services accessibleand useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visitthe OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.