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You are here: GES DISC Home Giovanni - Interactive Visualization and Analysis Additional Features Users Manual Giovanni-3 Online Users Manual: 1 Introduction

Giovanni-3 Online Users Manual: 1 Introduction

1.0 What are Giovanni, Giovanni-2, and Giovanni-3?

The previous Giovanni system (Giovanni-2) provided a World Wide Web (WWW) interface that enables access to global data sets from NASA Earth remote-sensing missions and other environmental data sets. Giovanni-2 allowed users to perform basic analytical operations on these data sets. Giovanni-2 utilized the Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) to perform most of its basic statistical operations.   At this time (November 2008), there are a few remaining Giovanni-2 instances.

The next generation, "Giovanni-3", is now our Giovanni system, with our newsystem architecture. Giovanni utilizes a variety ofsoftware packages (such as IDL, GrADS, and Python) and analytical functions authored by the GES DISC software development and engineering staff. Links to and a description of each of these instances are provided below .

While we are in the process of updating our documentation to convert "Giovanni-3" to simply Giovanni, there will still be occasions where Giovanni-2 and Giovanni-3 are used.

Supported Web Browsers:

PC: Firefox (v1.0 through latest), IE (v6.0.x through latest)
Mac: Firefox (v 1.0 through latest), IE v5.2, Safari 2/3

PC: Firefox v2.0.0.x, IE v7.0.x
Mac: Firefox v2.0.0.x

Other Web browsers may work, but they have not been tested with Giovanni and therefore are not supported.

"Supported" means that DISC staff will work to fix problems that users find while running Giovanni processes. Please contact our Help Desk to report such problems.

Giovanni Usage Guidelines and Acknowledgment Statement

The following link describes how to acknowledge Giovanni in research works and provides guidellines for co-authorship consideration.

Recommended guidelines for use of Giovanni data in publications

Giovanni-News Mailing List

Subscribe to the giovanni-news email mailing list for news about Giovanni development and related scientific and educational topics delivered in newsletters, approximately quarterly.

There are 2 ways to be subscribed to giovanni-news :

  • Send an email message (the content doesn't matter) to, and reply to the confirmation message.
  • Or you can email the list owner ( and ask to be subscribed. 

Data Quality Considerations

Giovanni is a useful tool for data exploration and research that uses remote-sensing data. When performing research with Giovanni, however, the characteristics of the data in Giovanni must be considered, especially if the goal of research is publication of scientific results. We suggest reading a short discussion of data characteristics and data quality issues on our "Using Giovanni - Data Quality Considerations" page.

Giovanni Release Notes

Ongoing Giovanni development is summarized in the Giovanni Release Notes.


Listed below are the current Giovanni instances.   Click the title to access information about a particular instance.   Links to the actual instances are in the table below the list of instances.


A-Train Aerosol Daily Aerosol Monthly Agriculture Air Quality
Aqua/AIRS Daily Aqua/AIRS Monthly Aura HIRDLS Aura MLS Aura OMI L3
Aura OMI L2G CERES (FM4) GLDAS Monthly MAIRS Monthly MAIRS 8-Day
MERRA HOUR_3D MISR Daily MISR Monthly MODIS Daily  MODIS Monthly
NEESPI Daily NEESPI Monthly  Ocean Color Radiometry Ocean Model Daily Ocean Model Monthly




1.1 A-Train Giovanni

The A-Train Giovanni instance has Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua and CloudSat data with curtain plot visualizations along the CloudSat track.

As the A-Train of satellites circles Earth, about eight minutes elapse between the times when the first satellite (Aqua) and the last (Aura) pass over any given spot. Overall, the string of satellites stretches across 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) in space, with each traveling about 7 kilometers per second (4.3 miles per second). The CloudSat radar trails Aqua by an average of about 60 seconds. CloudSat flies approximately 460 kilometers (286 miles) behind Aqua and much closer in front of CALIPSO, only around 93.8 kilometers (58.3 statute miles) away. This distance corresponds to an average delay of only 12.5 seconds between lidar and radar measurements.

For additional information, refer to Formation Flying (Take the A-Train).

1.2 MOVAS Daily and Monthly Giovanni

The MODIS Visualization and Analysis System (MOVAS) Giovanni instance displays atmospheric parameters from the MODIS instruments on both the Terra and Aqua satellites.

For additional information, refer to Terra, Aqua, and MODIS.

1.3 NEESPI Giovanni

The NEESPI Giovanni instance supports the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative, a currently active and strategically evolving program of internationally-supported Earth systems science research, which has as its foci issues in northern Eurasia that are relevant to regional and global scientific and decision-making communities.

For additional information, refer to the NEESPI Project Home page .


1.4 Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Daily Giovanni

The Giovanni instance for the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) encompasses daily observational data covering the long and famous history of this pioneering instrument. This instance features data from three different TOMS missions: Nimbus-7 (1978-1993), Meteor-3 (1991-1994), and Earth Probe (1996-2005). Note that Earth Probe (EP-TOMS) data after 2001 are not recommended for trend analysis. The data consist of daily level 3 global 1.0° x 1.25° gridded products.

For additional information, refer to the TOMS Home page (NASA GSFC Ozone Processing Team).

1.5 Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) Daily and L2G Giovanni

The successor to TOMS is the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the EOS Aura satellite. The OMI Giovanni instance provides data from this instrument, commencing in August 2004 and continuing to present. OMI data in Giovanni consist of daily level 3 global gridded ozone products at two spatial resolutions: high-resolution 0.25° x 0.25° (OMTO3E) and TOMS-like 1.0° x 1.25° (OMTO3D).

For additional information, refer to the OMI and EOS-Aura Mission Objectives (KNMI) page.

1.6 Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) Giovanni

The data in this Giovanni instance is from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura satellite. An earlier MLS instrument was flown on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). The MLS provides atmospheric profile data of the atmospheric concentrations of many different chemical species.

For additional information, refer to the Microwave Limb Sounder page.

1.7 Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) Giovanni

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the Aqua satellite provides data in both map and profile form for primary atmospheric variables including temperature, pressure, cloud parameters, water vapor and liquid water. AIRS data is useful for investigations of meteorological phenomena and climate.

For additional information, refer to the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder page.

1.8 Ocean Color Radiometry Monthly Giovanni

The Oceans Monthly Giovanni instance provides monthly Level 3 data from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) and MODIS-Aqua, including sea surface temperature and derived optical products. The primary ocean data products in this instance are provided by the Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) at NASA GSFC.

For additional information, refer to the Ocean Biology Processing Group (Ocean Color Web) page.

1.9 High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS) Giovanni

The High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS) is a joint mission of the United States and the United Kingdom (UK). HIRDLS is carried on the Aura satellite and provides atmospheric profile concentration data for several chemical species. New HIRDLS data products will be added to this instance as they become available.

For additional information, refer to the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder page.

1.10 Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR)

The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) is carried on the Terra satellite and is a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sensor mission.  MISR's cameras provide nine different viewing angles of the Earth's atmosphere and surface.  MISR data can thus provide information about atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and land surface cover. 

For additional information, refer to the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer page.

1.11 Air Quality

The Giovanni Air Quality instance combines global atmospheric aerosol and cloud data from MODIS, global atmospheric aerosol data from OMI, and ground-based Fine Particulate Matter data for the continental United States to allow investigation of air quality events and data for air quality monitoring.   The Fine Particulate Matter data is from the AIRNow program.

For additional information, refer to the AIRNow page.

1.12 TOVAS

There are two Giovanni TOVAS instances.  The first instance is designed for visualization and analysis of the 3-hourly "Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Other Rainfall Estimate" (3B42 V6) data product.   The second instance is designed for visualization and analysis of the TRMM Level-3 monthly data products.  Users can generate plots for area average (Lat-Lon Map), time-series (Time Series), Hovmöller diagram and more.  Animations are available for Lat-Lon Maps. Results can be downloaded in HDF, ASCII, and Google Earth KMZ formats.

1.13 MERRA 2D and MERRA 3D

There are two MERRA (Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Application) instances, MERRA 2D and MERRA 3D.   The MERRA instances provide meteorological and atmospheric data from an atmospheric observation reanalysis effort.   The goal of MERRA is to place satellite observations in a climate context with emphasis on the hydrological cycle.  MERRA 2D provides two-dimensional mapped data.   MERRA 3D includes three-dimensional atmospheric data that can be visualized as vertical profiles. 

 1.14  GLDAS Monthly

The Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) is generating a series of land surface state (e.g., soil moisture and surface temperature) and flux (e.g., evaporation and sensible heat flux) products simulated by four land surface models (CLM, Mosaic, Noah and VIC). Current data holdings include a set of 1.0 degree resolution data products from the four models, covering 1979 to the present; and a 0.25 degree data product from the Noah model, covering 2000 to the present. This instance focuses on the 1.0 degree monthly products.  CLM stands for "Community Land Model" and VIC stands for "Variable Infiltration Capacity".  

1.15 Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer

The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) is another instrument on the Aura satellite.  TES is an infrared, high spectral resolution Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS).   The TES Level-3 Version 2 data set includes the following parameters: methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), water vapor (H2O), deuterated water vapor (HDO), nitric acid  (HNO3), ozone (O3), and atmospheric temperature.

1.16 Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS)

The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) features data from several different satellite instruments, along with assimilated data in models.  MAIRS is intended to study the interactions of human activities with the monsoon system and to determine how such activities may impact the future behavior of the Asian monsoon. 


1.17   Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES)

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) experiment is one of the highest priority scientific satellite instruments developed for the Earth Observing System. CERES products include both solar-reflected and Earth-emitted radiation from the top of the atmosphere to the Earth's surface. Cloud properties are determined using simultaneous measurements by other EOS instruments such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Analyses of the CERES data, which build upon the foundation laid by previous missions such as the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), will lead to a better understanding of the role of clouds and the energy cycle in global climate change.





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