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Common Data Format

Version : 2.7
Author(s) : The National Space Science Data Center
License : cdf
Website :

Disk space required for installation is 12.39 Mb

After the package is installed it can be accessed using the command



A shortcut will be installed in the KDE/GNOME desktop menu system,
as an entry in the Astronomy submenu

The following printable documents will be installed :


The National Space Science Data Center's (NSSDC) Common Data Format (CDF) is a self-describing data abstraction for the storage and manipulation of multidimensional data in a
discipline-independent fashion. When one first hears the term "Common Data Format" one intuitively thinks of data formats in the traditional (i.e. messy/convoluted storage of data on disk or
tape) sense of the word. Although CDF has its own internal self describing format, it consists of more than just a data format. CDF is a scientific data management package (known as the
"CDF Library") which allows programmers and application developers to manage and manipulate scalar, vector, and multi-dimensional data arrays. The irony of the term "FORMAT" is that
the actual data format which CDF utilizes is completely transparent to the user and accessible through a consistent set of interface (known as the "CDF Interface") routines. Therefore,
programmers are not burdened with performing low level I/O's to physically format and unformat the data file. This is all done for them. The development of CDF arose out of the recognition by
the NSSDC for a class of data models that is matched to the structure of scientific data and the applications (i.e. statistical and numerical methods, visualization, and management) they


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