Use these guidelines to make your data FAIR in a step-wise approach. The currently available data formats are NetCDF, GeoTIFF, vector/Shapefile and CSV/Excel.

NetCDF | *.nc


Following CF conventions (source):

  • Title: what's in the file
  • History: Audit trail of processing operations
  • Description of the data
    • units: units can be udunits strings e.g. 1, degC, Pa, mbar, W m-2, kg/m2/s, mm day^-1
    • standard_name: Use CF standard names
    • long_name: not standardised
    • ancillary variables: a pointer to variables providing metadata about the individual data values e.g. standard error or data quality information
    • * _FillValue, missing_value, valid_max, valid_min, valid_range
    • Dimensions establish the index space of data variables
    • Time (year, month, day, hour, minute, second) is encoded with units “time unit since reference time”

*Optional for numeric data variables

GeoTIFF | *.tif


Embedded tags (tif tags):

  • Spatial extent
  • Temporal extent
  • Coordinate reference system
  • Resolution
  • No data value
  • Layers

For more documentation, create a README file.

Vector/shapefile | *.shp


Use a *.shp.xml to store the metadata in XML format (such as ISO 19115 or other XML schema):

  • Spatial extent
  • Temporal extent
  • Coordinate reference system
  • Attribute(s) meaning

CSV/Excel | *.csv *.xlsx


Write in sheet/top lines of csv:

  • Title: what's in the file
  • Abstract
  • Measurement details
  • No labels