U.S. IOOS® data providers are expected to offer data in one or more approved U.S. IOOS® formats described below. Legacy formats may also be maintained, if desired. Those data must be accessible through one of the DMAC recommended data access services

Standards and Protocols:

For numerical/point data:

Binary format:

Text format:


For lines & polygons:

File formats for lines and polygons are under review.  Please contact the IOOS Program Office with any questions.

For imagery:

  • GeoTIFF is a public-domain metadata standard that allows georeferencing information to be embedded within a Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) file

Implementation Methods/Practices:

Available Software:

The IOOS Compliance checker is a command line Python tool to check local/remote datasets against a variety of compliance standards. For non-python users, there is also a Compliance Checker website where files can be individually run through the checker.


When using netCDF for in situ data, IOOS® data providers should implement feature type NCEI netCDF Templates developed by the NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI)




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