Visual Catalog
Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico Regional Node

CoastWatch Satellite Data Download Options

The following selections are presented for downloading data:

CoastWatch product:
The download file is a standard CoastWatch product in Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) version 4. HDF is a scientific data file format that stores the satellite data and related Earth location information in a computer platform independent fashion. The file contains the entire set of variables at a high resolution, full regional panel even when the plot shows only a subregion. Information on the file format, and display and analysis software may be found at the CoastWatch Central Operations Homepage.
GeoTIFF image:
The download file is an image in GeoTIFF format showing the same view of the data as the current plot, without the legends on the right side. GeoTIFF is a flexible image format with support for Earth location information. Many popular GIS packages handle GeoTIFF images and allow the user to combine a GeoTIFF base map image with other sources of raster and vector data. In general the GeoTIFFs generated are 24-bit colour images, but when no overlays (grid, coast, land, or cloud) are specified a special 8-bit paletted image file is generated and comments describing the data value scaling are inserting into the image description tags. The GeoTIFF format and supporting software is described on the website.
ArcGIS grid:
The download file is a ZIP file containing .flt and .hdr files for import into ArcGIS as a binary grid. The .flt file is a stream of 32-bit IEEE floating point values, where as the .hdr file specifies the Earth location and other parameters. The ArcGIS grid values are those of the currently displayed variable at high resolution, for the full regional panel even when the plot shows only a subregion. In order to use the grid in ArcGIS, the user must set the projection system to match that shown in the plot legend (on the right of the plot) under Map projection. The most common projections are Mercator and Polar Stereographic. ArcGIS is a trademark of ESRI.

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