NetCDF is a data format oriented to scientific data in a multidimensional arrays way. That is, a list of variables with a concrete meaning (pressure, temperature, position…). It’s commonly said that it’s a data container of any type and auto-descriptive. It means that its contents is described in its header.
As generic container it has the advantage of storing raster as well as vector data, and they can be specified for different moments over time. It’s useful for storing on site data that are obtained from sensors where the information collection is periodic and the collected data are varied.
Two plugins have been developed for gvSIG 2.0, that offer support for NetCDF. Its integration in gvSIG has been made from the point of view of the same application, separating the support in two different data providers: raster and vector. It’s because its graphical representation in gvSIG is totally different. With the incorporation of this format, gvSIG can load and export data with time information.
But the time information requires a special treatment in any Geographic Information System, now that the user should be able to filter the information to be shown in a specific moment or in a temporary interval. Besides the user should be able to process the data taking the moment into account or even to be able to make animations throughout time. In this sense gvSIG has improved in an important way, because it incorporates this functionality (data filter by time and short animations). At this moment this tool has to be improved to make geoprocessing on layers with time information, besides integrating time support on the raster part. We hope to improve this issues in the future versions, although these plugins are available now.