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Getting Data Shouldn't be Difficult

ERDDAP makes it easy to access data

ERDDAP is a data server that gives you a simple, consistent way to download data in the format and the spatial and temporal coverage that you want.

Humans and machines can use ERDDAP

ERDDAP is a web application with an interface for people to use. It is also a RESTful web service that allows data access directly from any computer program (e.g. Matlab, R, or webpages).

Make customized maps and graphs

Use ERRDAP to generate .png and .pdf files on-the-fly from gridded and tabular scientific datasets and insert them directly into webpages.

Search for datasets

ERDDAP’s search capabilities allow full text searches of the metadata or searches by metadata categories, such as keywords, standard name, and data type.


The Environmental Research Division maintains an ERDDAP server with an extensive collection of environmental datasets. CoastWatch data are drawn from the ERD ERDDAP.

The links below lead to the gridded and tabular data collections, and to a dataset search page.

• Gridded Datasets
• Tabular Datasets
• Search

The URL specifies your data request

Your query is sent to ERDDAP in a specially formed URL containing dataset of interest, a description of how you want the data subsetted or graphed, and the file type you want returned to you.

ERDDAP or you make the URL

You may use ERDDAPs “Data Access” and “Make A Graph” tools to quickly make the URL or bypass the forms by generating the URL by hand or with a computer program or script.

The URLs take the following form


baseURL: to the gridded or tabular dataset
datasetID: unique identifier of the dataset of interest
fileType: specifies the type of data file that you want
query: specify how you want the dataset subsetted

Generate a Sea Surface Temperature Map

The following example will generate the image below of the GHRSST Global Daily 1-km Sea Surface Temperature data for the US West Coast for December 23, 2014.

example sst map generated by ERDDAP

Start with the baseURL for gridded datasets

The BaseURL for the Environmental Research Division's ERDDAP server. erddap/griddap/

Add the datasetID

For GHRSST Global Daily 1-km SST the ID is “jplG1SST + jplG1SST

Add the fileType of the image file

For GHRSST Global Daily 1-km SST the ID is “jplG1SST + .png

Start the query and add the variable

Begin the query with “?”, then add the parameter of interest.  “SST” in our example. + ?SST

Add specifications to the query to define the graph

Each within specification is within square brackets. For our example we need the date and the geographical bounding box.

Date Specification: Date has the format [(YYYY_MM-DDThh:mm:ss], which is [(2014-02-23T00:00:00Z)] for our example. ?SST + [(2014-02-23T00:00:00Z)]

Bounding Box Specification: The bounding box has the format [(lat min):(lat max)][(lon min):(lon max)] , which is [(32.0):(52.0)][(-135):(-115.0)] for our example. [(2014-02-23T00:00:00Z)] + [(32.0):(52.0)][(-135):(-115.0)]

The basic URL

The basic URL below will generate the SST image pictured above. Try pasting it into a new browser window![(2015-02-23T00:00:00Z)][(32.0):(52.0)][(-135):(-115.0)]

To view the data as an HTML table, change .png to .htmlTable[(2015-02-23T00:00:00Z)][(32.0):(52.0)][(-135):(-115.0)]

To download the data as an Matlab file, change .png to .mat[(2015-02-23T00:00:00Z)][(32.0):(52.0)][(-135):(-115.0)]

Data file types

not files

Image file types

lost data

Extract ocean surface current data from ERDDAP

The video demonstrates how to extract ocean surface current data from ERDDAP and use them for simulated particle tracking in the NOAA GNOME model.

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