[SciPy-user] numpy netcdf reader

Rob Hetland hetland at tamu.edu
Fri Aug 18 08:52:10 CDT 2006

Actually, the netcdf package I use is by Jeff Whitaker, found here:


The reason I was looking for other options is that this one relies on  
netcdf4 (which is alpha), and hdf5.  I was hoping there would be an  
easier tool to use that would work with people's pre-existing netcdf  
libraries (most likely netcdf3).  Whitaker's package *does* work with  
netcdf3 files -- reading is transparent, and writing can be done in  
'CLASSIC' mode.  However, there are arguments to be made about the  
simplicity of installing a package that uses the libraries you have.

Soon, the community will switch to netcdf4, since there are big  
advantages in doing so (like groups in a single netcdf file for  
ensemble model runs).  I hope that this package can someday become  
part of the standard scipy install, but perhaps it is too soon now.

What I would really like to see is a _completely_ unified API between  
Whitaker's package, for those who want it, and a different netcdf3  
package, for those who don't.  Then you could just change your import  
statement, and all of your programs would go on working.


On Aug 17, 2006, at 5:09 PM, Travis Oliphant wrote:

> George Nurser wrote:
>> On 20 Jul 2006, at 17:36, Rob Hetland wrote:
>>> Konrad & scipy-users,
>>> I have made some changes to the scipy.sandbox.netcdf package so
>>> that it installs correctly.  (I am a total hack at distutils, but
>>> it seems to do the right thing..).  This could also be installed as
>>> a stand alone package, since it does not actually depend on scipy
>>> for anything.
>>> I have tested this module on my Mac, a Redhat distribution, and a
>>> Win box (using cygwin netcdf libraries), and all seem to work fine.
>> Thanks for doing this. It's very useful. It works fine for me on our
>> Linux Redhat 64-bit setup, though haven't needed to write 1 character
>> strings.
> The netcdf 1-character string support actually prompted better
> backward-compatible support for them in NumPy.  There is a version of
> pynetcdf (0.6) at pylab.sourceforge.net that works with character
> strings and NumPy.  The one in scipy.sandbox is going to replace
> pynetcdf (but probably be replaced by another netcdf package).
> -Travis
>> George Nurser.
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Rob Hetland, Assistant Professor
Dept. of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
phone: 979-458-0096, fax: 979-845-6331

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