Hierarchical Data Format - Earth Observing System (HDF-EOS)

Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) is the standard data format for all NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) data products. HDF is a multi-object file format developed by The HDF Group.

NSIDC created this site to answer common questions about HDF-EOS and to provide simple methods for working with the HDF-EOS format. Follow the links below to read more about working with HDF-EOS:

Introduction to HDF-EOS

Overall summary of the HDF-EOS format, including structure, data types, and justification for the development of HDF-EOS.

Converting From HDF to Binary Format

Steps for dumping HDF objects into flat binary format using the HDF Group's hdp utility and the NSIDC's IDL program hdfeos2bin.pro.

Dumping HDF Into ASCII Format

Simple steps for converting HDF-EOS files to ASCII format with the ncdump utility.

Geolocating HDF-EOS Data

Methods for determining the geographic coverage of data files and utilizing existing geolocation information.

Uncompressing HDF-EOS Data

The HDF Group hrepack tool is a command line tool that performs a logical copy of an input HDF4 file to an output HDF4 file, copying all the high level objects and optionally rewriting the objects with compression/uncompression and/or chunking.

Related HDF-EOS Links