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Software Tools

The listed tools are available to help handle and manipulate Hydrology data files. The Hydrology Data Support Team at GES DISC is researching and testing various software packages/tools designed to handle GRIB and other data formats.  Sample usages of WGRIB, GrADS, and GDS for GLDAS and NLDAS GRIB files can be found from GLDAS and NLDAS README documents at the GES DISC Hydrology Documentation Portal. Inclusion of an externally developed software tool in the list below does not represent an endorsement of that tool by the Goddard Earth Sciences DISC.

  WGRIB WGRIB is a program to manipulate, inventory, and decode GRIB files. The source code and installation instructions for WGRIB are available from NOAA Climate Prediction Center WGRIB Webpage.
 GrADS GrADS (Grid Analysis and Display System) is an interactive desktop tool for easy access, manipulation, and visualization of earth science data. GrADS supports several data formats, such as binary, GRIB, NetCDF, and HDF. The documentation and software for GrADS can be found at
 GDS GDS (GrADS Data Server,  formerly known as GrADS-DODS Server) is a stable, secure data server that provides subsetting and analysis services across the internet. GDS services can be provided for any GrADS-readable data set: GRIB, Binary, NetCDF, HDF, BUFR, and GrADS station data format. The documentation and software for GDS can be found at the


How to retrieve LDAS data via GDS as ASCII text can be found from the GES DISC Hydrology FAQ Portal.

 GETGB The GETGB routine (FORTRAN 90) finds and unpacks a grib message. The routine reads a grib index file (or optionally the grib file itself) to get the index buffer (i.e. table of contents) for the grib file. The description and software for GETGB can be found at NOAA NCEP documentation page for w3lib GETGB.
IDL GRIB Interface In IDL 8.1, Exelis Visual Information Solution (VIS) introduced a low-level interface to GRIB (edition 1 and 2) files built on the ECMWF GRIB library. The IDL GRIB library is available on Linux and Mac OS X.  A recorded Webinar about using the IDL GRIB Library, available to public at Exelis VIS, provides an overview of IDL's GRIB library and IDL examples for reading data from, and writing data to, a GRIB file.
MATLAB-CDI MATLAB-CDI is a collection of MATLAB functions that import/read GRIB and netCDF files through high-level function calls that follow an unified syntax. The package supports a subset of the full GRIB and netCDF format specifications typically produced by climate models.
 Panoply Panoply netCDF, HDF and GRIB Data Viewer is a cross-platform application which plots geo-gridded arrays from netCDF, HDF and GRIB data sets.  The Panoply software and description can be downloaded from the Panoply Portal at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
Parameter and Spatial Subsetter GLDAS and NLDAS GRIB files can be subsetted OTF (On-The-Fly) via the GES DISC Mirador "Subsetting" Service or Simple Subset Wizard (SSW). The subsetted files are in GRIB format and can be handled in the same ways as those for the original GRIB files, but the file size could be much smaller.

How to spatially subset GLDAS and NLDAS GRIB files by parameter via the Mirador?
 NetCDF Converter GLDAS and NLDAS GRIB files can be converted to netCDF files OTF (On-The-Fly)  via the Mirador "netCDF Conversion" service.  The converted netCDF files are compliant with the Climate and Forecast (CF) metadata convention  and can handled by netCDF software and other software packages and tools.

How to convert NLDAS and GLDAS GRIB files to netCDF files  OTF via the Mirador?
 Giovanni Giovanni is a Web-based application developed by the GES DISC that provides a simple and intuitive way to visualize, analyze, and access vast amounts of Earth science remote sensing data without having to download the data.

Giovanni portals for  NLDAS, GLDAS, and FLDAS visualization and analysis:



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Last updated: Mar 04, 2016 01:39 PM ET