Data Analysis and Imaging Tools

NSIDC develops a variety of tools for viewing and analyzing data. These tools are copyrighted by the University of Colorado and licensed under the GNU General Public License. Please contact NSIDC User Services for more information.

Analysis Tools

Analysis tools help users extract and read data from a variety of formats, display data within packages such as Research System's IDL, or assist in the geolocation of gridded products. For more information or to download a tool, click on the tool's name in the table below.

Tool Name Description

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

NSIDC created this site to answer common questions about HDF-EOS and to provide simple methods for working with the HDF-EOS format.

Application Programming Interfaces

NSIDC offers a series of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow programmers to build NSIDC data and metadata services into their applications.

EASE-Grid Geolocation Tools

Tools include IDL routines and map projections for geolocation and conversion tools to use with EASE-Grid data sets.

MODIS Swath-to-Grid Toolbox (MS2GT)

This set of software tools reads HDF-EOS files containing MODIS swath data and produces flat binary files containing gridded data in a variety of map projections. MS2GT consists of three Perl programs that make calls to several standalone IDL and C programs.

HDF-EOS Imaging Tool (EOS IT)

This interface has two modes. One mode opens, geolocates, and visualizes multiple swath or grid products in separate but dynamically linked windows. Another mode allows users to examine individual bits from data fields. (Users must have IDL 5.6 installed to run EOS-IT.)

Imaging Tools

These imaging tools are small applications that NSIDC programmers created for internal use and are made available to NSIDC's user community. These tools form the building blocks of many of the other tools that we provide. These tools are not related to particular data sets, and can be used in other programs. For more information or to download a tool, click on the tool's name in the table below.

Tool Name Description

GPD Viewer

An IDL Catalyst Library program that can be used to interactively visualize and create Grid Parameter Definition (GPD) files. The resulting GPD files can be used by other software at NSIDC to reproject different types of satellite data. Developed by NSIDC Science Programmer David Fanning.


An object-oriented geographic coordinate transformation library available in both C and Java.