CDM File Types

The NetCDF-Java/CDM library provides a uniform API to many different scientific file formats and remote access protocols. Generally, application programmers should respect the encapsulation of these formats. When information is needed about the underlying file type, NetcdfFile.getFileTypeId(), NetcdfFile.getFileTypeVersion() and NetcdfFile.getFileTypeDescription() methods can be called.

The Id must be unique and once registered, will never change, so that application code can test against it. Version information should have a standard form for each file type, but the form may differ between file types. The Description is human-readable and may present variations when appropriate, such as adding processing history, etc. The Reference URL(s) in this table are informational, and may change as needed.

To support this functionality, getFileTypeId(), getFileTypeVersion() and getFileTypeDescription() methods have been added to the IOServiceProvider interface as of version 4.0.46. You will need to add these methods to your IOServiceProvider implementations.

To register your format/IOServiceProvider, or to send corrections and additions to this table, please send email to

Id Description Reference URL
BUFR WMO Binary Universal Form
CINRAD Chinese Level-II Base Data
DMSP Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
DORADE DOppler RAdar Data Exchange Format
F-TDS Ferret I/O Service Provider and Server-side Analysis
FYSAT Chinese FY-2 satellite image data in AWX format
GempakGrid GEMPAK Gridded Data
GempakSurface GEMPAK Surface Obs Data
GINI GOES Ingest and NOAAPORT Interface
GRIB-1 WMO GRIB Edition 1
GRIB-2 WMO GRIB Edition 2
GTOPO USGS GTOPO digital elevation model
HDF4 Hierarchical Data Format, version 4
HDF5 Hierarchical Data Format, version 5
McIDASArea McIDAS area file
McIDASGrid McIDAS grid file

netCDF NetCDF classic format
netCDF-4 NetCDF-4 format on HDF-5

NEXRAD Level-II Base Data

NEXRAD-3 NEXRAD Level-III Products
NLDN National Lightning Detection Network
NMCon29 NMC Office Note 29
OPeNDAP Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol
SIGMET SIGMET-IRIS weather radar
UAMIV CAMx UAM-IV formatted files
UniversalRadarFormat Universal Radar Format
USPLN US Precision Lightning Network