Data Access

The ocean energy data from this study is publicly available in the standard geophysical NetCDF data format and through the standard geophysical DAP data transport protocol (DAP). NetCDF and DAP allow scientists to use standardized tools to read and write geophysical data. The ocean energy data server is here.


NetCDF is a platform-independent, self-describing, binary file format for storing multi-dimensional array datasets. A NetCDF file contains:

  • Global metadata about the entire dataset such as dataset name, creation date, or copyright
  • Dimensional data such as dimension size and name
  • Arrays of variable data such as longitude, latitude, time, or wave height
  • Variable metadata such as variable name, units, data type, or direction
  • Variable dimensions specifying which dimensions apply to each variable array and in what order


DAP or Data Access Protocol (formerly known as DODS or Distributed Ocean Data Service) is an Internet transport protocol which operates over HTTP, the same protocol used by web browsers. The protocol allows scientists to specify the location, either locally or remotely, of geophysical datasets as ordinary URI. The data then may be read or written via the inter-operation of DAP servers and clients. Most usefully, the DAP may also specify only a portion of the data to be read or written, constraining the data by geographic bounds, temporal bounds, variable names, and/or variable values. This allows large datasets to be accessed efficiently.

Data Server

The ocean energy data is available through a DAP server here. This server provides DAP read access to ocean energy data remotely stored in NetCDF files. When operatingĀ a DAP client, the dataset URIs cataloged on this server are available for use. Users may alternatively download individual NetCDF files via standard web browsers. The NetCDF files may then be read locally with commonly available NetCDF libraries or with commonly available NetCDF tools such as ncdump. The server provides download links to each dataset’s schema, attributes, and array data as plain text files. Each dataset is also linked to a form on the server which acts as a DAP client through the web.