HDF (Hierarchical Data Format) technologies address the problems of how to manage, preserve and extract maximum use of scientific data in the face of enormous growth in size and complexity. This is data whose value to society will continue over decades and in some cases over centuries.
An example of such data is the Earth Observing System (EOS) , which already contains three petabytes (3 million billion bytes) of data, and will by project-end contain 15 petabytes. This data is complex as well as large, and has already been used by an estimated 1.6 million people worldwide. This data has enormous potential to benefit virtually every corner of society, not just in the United States, but worldwide. Not only does it need to be preserved, but it needs to be made available to every segment of society, from scientists to policy makers to school children.
EOS is just one of a growing number of projects that face the same dilemmas and have similar potential. There are other remote-sensing projects, such as the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System, which will dwarf EOS. There are also many other disciplines that face similar challenges, including astronomy, bioinformatics (medicine, genomics, and others), agriculture, and the humanities.
Because HDF technologies are developed and maintained as open source products, they are freely available to any organization at no cost. In addition, base-line product support is also available to users free of charge . The financial support of The HDF Group grantors and supporters makes free distribution and services possible. For HDF users, this frees up scare resources that they can allocate elsewhere, i.e., research, scientific discoveries, and the like.
Many HDF users employ HDF technologies in complex and diverse ways. Some users find it beneficial to contract with The HDF Group for more advanced expertise and services. Examples include application research, program modification and development, testing, porting, tuning, trouble-shooting, and training. These users find that utilizing The HDF Group's deep and broad expertise liberates the their staff and resources from the technical support of HDF. For The HDF Group, it advances its mission by infusing new ideas and knowledge into HDF technologies. Finally, service and development contracts provide funding support that promote the continuity, stability, and usability of HDF technologies over the long-term.
- - Last modified: 09 December 2013