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Webinar: Easy data access and visualization using the ERDDAP data server

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Thursday, 22 August 2019, 11:30

Thursday, August 22, 2019. 11:30AM. Webinar: Easy data access and visualization using the ERDDAP data server. Cara Wilson, NOAA/NMFS. Sponsored by STAR Science Seminar Series. More information here


Distributing large global or regional datasets to a targeted user community is challenging, particularly if the users require data from many data providers and are interested in discrete geographical and temporal ranges. The ERDDAP data server addresses these challenges, acting as middleman between disparate remote data servers, to provide a single unified pathway for data access that offers 1) a simple, consistent way to download data, 2) subsetting by user-defined areas and time periods, and 3) downloads in over 30 data, image, and metadata formats that are compatible with analysis tools such as R, MATLAB, and Python. The ERDDAP GUI allows users to visualize data and refine download requests. Download requests are completely defined within a URL, allowing machine-to-machine data exchange, bringing data directly into analysis tools, and using ERDDAP as a backend to drive customized online interfaces.

ERDDAP was developed by Bob Simons at the NMFS/SWFSC Environmental Research Division and has been installed by over 80 organizations worldwide. The ERDDAP servers at CoastWatch Regional Nodes and other NOAA offices provide access to thousands of satellite data, model output, and climatology products, as well as ocean-related ancillary datasets (e.g. buoy, shipboard oceanographic, animal track, and in situ data). NOAA's Data Access Procedural Directive includes ERDDAP in its list of recommended data servers for use by groups within NOAA.

In this seminar we will describe the features of ERDDAP, including subsetting and downloading data, creating mapped images, visualizing wind vector fields, and generating time series and Hovmöller diagrams. A live demonstration of these capabilities will be given. A tutorial explaining how to use ERDDAP is also available on the website of the West Coast Regional node of CoastWatch at

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