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Improving Long-term Preservation of EOS Data by Independently Mapping HDF Data Objects

NASAThis project is funded by NASA.


To ensure long-term accessibility of NASA's Earth science data currently stored in the HDF format.


Mike Folk is PI; Peter Cao, Kent Yang, Ruth Duerr, and Cristopher Lynnes are Co-PIs.

Project Summary

The NASA Earth Observing System has more than a petabyte of critical earth science data stored in the HDF4 format. The normal way to access HDF-formatted data is through the HDF software libraries, either by using the HDF Application Programming Interface (API) directly or by using HDF tools that depend on the HDF libraries. However there is a risk in depending solely on the HDF libraries to access HDF-formatted data over the long term. It is possible, especially in the distant future, that the libraries may not be as readily available as they are today. To address this risk, it is desirable to have a way to retrieve the data independently.

The goal of this project is to make HDF4 data accessible through markup-language-based tools, and to begin the process of deploying these capabilities at NASA data centers. The team will also investigate how this approach can be applied to the body of EOS data that is archived in HDF5 format in order to facilitate long-term access independently from using the HDF library and tools.

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