The Language of EOS Data: Hierarchical Data Format

  • Larry Klein
  • Andrey Savtchenko
  • Abe Taaheri
  • Cid Praderas
  • Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa
Part of the Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing book series (RDIP, volume 11)


This chapter describes the data storage format used by NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS), which was chosen to package the heterogeneous data products produced by the ASTER and MODIS instruments. HDF was chosen as the most efficient, general-purpose format at the time to store and distribute Earth science data. We discuss extensions to HDF created to store measurements acquired by the EOS instruments, and also discuss particular adaptations by the MODIS and ASTER teams. We also discuss several applications, which are capable of accessing data in HDF directly.


Application Program Interface Ozone Monitoring Instrument Hierarchical Data Format Microwave Limb Sound Metadata File 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank Calli Jenkerson and Bhaskar Ramachandran of the USGS EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD, for providing content to this chapter.


  1. HDF-EOS and related Software Documentation and User Guides:
  2. HDF4-related Documentation:
  3. HDF5-related Documentation: (Release 1.8.3) and (Release 1.6.9)
  4. Science Data Processing Toolkit Site:
  5. The HDF Group:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Klein
    • 1
  • Andrey Savtchenko
  • Abe Taaheri
  • Cid Praderas
  • Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa
  1. 1.Wyle Information SystemsLanhamUSA

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