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HDF-EOS to netCDF Convertor

Program that takes an HDF-EOS dataset and outputs a netCDF file that preserves as much as possible of the dataset's data and metadata using the CF conventions for netCDF

The motivation for this program is:

  1. NASA satellite data is created and delivered in HDF-EOS (2 and 5) format. Many useful tools out in the field, however, work with the netCDF format, so a converter would enable use of these tools.
  2. HDF-EOS 2 and 5 are similar from a program API point of view, but very different internally, so having a tool that detects which format is in use is useful. HDF-EOS and netCDF using the CF conventions store similar metadata, but access and format it differently.
  3. Lots of file format converters before this one. Very few that force metadata into a convention for a format.
  4. Incompatible file formats, loss of metadata on conversion.

The program features:

  1. Use of he25 library (handles both HDF-EOS2 and HDF-EOS5).
  2. Use of CF conventions (so output data can be used with netCDF earth science tools with minimal fuss).
  3. Uses our he25 library, netCDF API library.

HDF-EOS to netCDF Convertor Goals

This tool was developed as a demonstration of how to work with HDF-EOS data produced by NASA’s EOS program, including the standard products of the EOS Terra, Aqua and Aura missions and other EOSDIS standard products. The development of these tools is not ongoing and this source is offered “as is” with the hope that it may be useful.

Functional Goals


Evolvability Goals


Usability Goals


Software Packages

This software is released under the terms and conditions of the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) Version 1.1 or later.
HDF-EOS to netCDF Convertor NOSA


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  • Page Last Updated: October 24, 2019
  • Page Editor: Adil Anis
  • NASA Official: Darryl Mitchell