Marine Data Literacy 2.0

Providing instruction for managing, converting, analyzing and displaying oceanographic station data, marine meteorological data, GIS-compatible marine and coastal data or model simulations, and mapped remote sensing imagery





Home > 8. Access & Services > 8.12 NOAA GEO-IDE

8.12 Accessing Data Products from NOAA's GEO-IDE Framework

  • Exercise Title:  Accessing Data Products from NOAA's Global Earth Observation - Integrated Data Environment (GEO-IDE) Framework

  • Abstract:  This exercise is not about making any specific data product from a particular data file.  It is to demonstrate how to browse for and obtain data in the new GEO-IDE "framework".  It is parallel to the top-level THREDDS catalogs for NASA data in Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), and specific resources found in GEO-IDE can also be accessed in IDV.  Data accessed through the framework can be managed/visualized with methods already described in other exercises (as cited below).  It is most closely related to 8.5 Data Browsing/Mining in THREDDS Servers, covering a parallel NASA-sponsored amalgamation framework.

  • Preliminary Reading (in OceanTeacher, unless otherwise indicated):

    • N/A

  • Required Software:

  • Other Resources: 

    • GEO-IDE Website - An element of the United Access Framework (UAF) a NOAA-wide effort to make environmental datasets easy to find and use. 

  • Author:  Murray Brown

  • Version:  2-2-2015

1.  Open the GEO-IDE website (link above).  Read over the top-level documents to see what's involved and how it is organized.

2.  To get into the actual data, click on the ACCESS DATA LINK in the left-hand menu.  This impressive list of data standards and protocols opens, indicating that the NOAA folks aim to make their framework compatible with just about every open standard.  The THREDDS, LAS, IDV and ncBROWSE links are widely used in MDL already.  You could access GEO-IDE resources all these ways, but we plan on using THREDDS primarily.

3.  Click on the THREDDS link, and these 2 links appear.

4.  Click on the ACCESS DATA link to see this page.  You can see that it is a well-organized (outline-type) listing of major NOAA marine products.

5.  The "CATALOG" link at the top is actually not correct for direct THREDDS use (a common error among the NOAA community).  Copy the link.

And change the final extension from HTML to XML, as you see here. 

This is a trick you can do in hundreds of places where you find a "THREDDS" catalog URL that doesn't seem to work; just change the extension.  This also works for the sub-level items in the catalog, ending in HTM or HTML.]

6.  Run IDV.
7.  On the dashboard, find GENERAL > CATALOGS and enter the XML link.  Then hit enter to download the online THREDDS top-level outline.  [Be patient; it's online.]

This 3-part outline appears.

8.  The first item is a set of defining documents, which you can explore later.  The third item is a set of special NOAA-partner products, for US regions.  We will ignore both of these

We are interested now only in the second item, for all NOAA products.

9.  If you open the NOAA item, you'll see these 4 major components:
  • National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)

The presence of all 4 main lines in one page means this framework has authorization and encouragement from the highest levels in NOAA.

10.  Just for an example, let's navigate down to the first item that seems to be global, and for which the ADD SOURCE control shows it is available as data.

It seems to be this BEST TIME SERIES of Navy Coastal Ocean Model simulations.  Select it, and click ADD SOURCE.

11.  Very quickly the data source is listed on IDV's dashboard, and the available fields are shown as 2D fields (i.e. they are for surface only).
12.  Let's see what we have, where it is and for when.  Right-click on the item in the left column, and select PROPERTIES.
13.  This page of properties opens.  Select TIMES to see what's included.  Scrolling to the bottom, you can see that the last date is only 2013, so this collection is not really operational.
14.  Let's try to find something operational.  Move down to the next promising item, a BEST TIME SERIES from the HYCOM model.

Select it, and click on ADD SOURCE.


15.  This time, if you scroll down through the PROPERTIES > TIMES you'll find the results actually cover about 6 days after today, so we have past results AND predictions from this source.  [Today for the author is 2-2-2015.]  It is definitely operational.

Select USE SELECTED, and then select only the latest available grid.


16.  You can also select a specific area for your analysis.  Then click OK to save these time and spatial extent settings.
17.  Now we can proceed to making an analysis.  Make these choices, and click CREATE DISPLAY.

18.  Very shortly, you should see this salinity map for the specified day.  If you had selected a set of days, then you could see multiple maps and make an animation, for example.  These are covered in other exercises.

19.  Also, as in other exercises, you could make surface current vectors, as you see here.
20.  Save your work, as usual, with appropriate long filenames in PRODUCTS > IDV with the XIDV extension.
21.  This exercise is just to introduce the GEO-IDE source, which has a few tricks you need to know.  It doesn't involve anything new with IDV, so we leave you with these tantalizing possibilities.  Take the time to explore GEO-IDE and find the data you need, either climatological (ca. 75%) or operational (ca 25%).