[SciPy-user] HDF5 vs FITS (was: Fast saving/loading of huge matrices)

Perry Greenfield perry@stsci....
Fri Apr 20 16:14:20 CDT 2007

On Apr 20, 2007, at 4:26 PM, James Turner wrote:

>> As a side note, we do use this richness of hdf5 in our experiment, to
>> store say the time of an experimental run, the temperature of the  
>> room...
> It sounds like HDF5 provides much the same capabilities as FITS, the
> main file standard used for some decades in astronomy. It also sounds
> like there may be a lot of overlap between Pytables and STScI's binary
> tables, as implemented in PyFITS. I imagine that's why Pytables was
> based on numarray, come to think of it... Does anyone have a good
> overview of how they compare, or know whether this HDF format is the

I think that is a bit too broadly posed to answer in any simple way  
(if you are wondering how HDF and FITS compare). Speed? Flexibility?  
Etc. FITS is generally much less flexible. However, it is archival.  
Something that HDF has a harder time claiming. And it is very well  
entrenched in astronomy.

> same one that was used years ago by the Starlink project in the UK?
I believe so (at least some version of HDF).


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