Making data access easier with OPeNDAP

Adrian Burton1, Ben Evans3, Justin Freeman4, Gareth Williams5,James Gallagher2Duan Beckett4Kate Snow3Robert Davy5Mingfang Wu1

1Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,


3National Computational Infrastructure, Canberra, Australia,

 4Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia,  

5CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia,



When more and more data are collected and made discoverable and available, there is a requirement of making data easily accessible. Accessing data through a downloadable URL from the web is convenient for small data, but not so for big data set, slicing a data set from a huge data collection, or assembling a dataset from multiple data sets in different data format.  OPeNDAP (Open Source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol) provides a framework for making scientific data available to remote consumers via the web. It is also a software framework that simplifies all aspects of data networking, allowing simple access to remote data.  Data providers can build their data provision server on top of the OPeNDAP framework or deploy existing solutions such THRREDDS, Hyrax, ERDDAP or PyDAP to make their data accessible, no matter data is stored in CSV, HDF or NetCDF files, in databases or another other formats.  While data consumers can virtually access data from custom built OPeNDAP such as NSA Earthdata search or any general tools such as R, Python, MATLab, or ArCGIS that support web access.

This 60 minutes will feature presentations from BOM, NCI, IMOS, and CSIRO on their OPeNDAP applications. The BoF is open for discussion of latest tooling, standard/vocabularies, any DAP-based data-retrieval-access architectures, science applications, and FAIR for DAP among many other topics. We will also gather community’s interaction for future actions such as organising a proper set of workshops.

We are also in partnership with the Earth Systems Information Partners (ESIP) of the US to form OPeNDAP community, in particular the ESIP Information Interoperability and Technology Committee and the ESIP Data Stewardship Committee.  ESIP is supported by 110+ member organizations including OPeNDAP, Unidata and HDF.


Adrian Burton is Director of Services at the Australian National Data Service. Adrian has provided strategic input into several national infrastructure initiatives, is active in building national policy frameworks to unlock the value in the research data outputs of publicly funded research.

Ben Evans is associated Director of Research Engagement and Initiatives.

Peter Blain is a project leader, information systems architect, cognitive scientist and entrepreneur.

Justin Freeman is high performance computing Application Specialist at Bureau of Meteorology.

Gareth Williams leads a small team of Data Intensive Computing specialists in CSIRO’s Scientific Computing support group.

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