Wednesday, 10 February 2010

BODC request (ASCII) format — your opinion

Data standardisation, in terms of both parameters and file format, is essential in professional data management.

BODC distributes data in a variety of standard formats. One of these, our BODC request (ASCII) format, has been in existence since the early 1980s. It comprises several lines of fixed-length header information (basic metadata) followed by the data cycles (and associated quality control flags) listed one per line.

BODC request (ASCII) format — change required ©

Until now we have refrained from changing this standard, as we were aware that our regular users had developed code for automatic data handling. Increasingly, however, the header design is limiting the information we need to present as well as being out of sync with standards elsewhere.

As part of our continuing commitment to improve our service to the marine community we feel that now is the time to consider a major update to our ASCII data format and we would value your opinion.

Such a change may cause inconvenience so we want to provide you with an opportunity to comment before we embark on an update. We would be pleased to hear your comments. When contacting us, please include information on the software you regularly use with this data format. This will help us tailor the design change to your needs.

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