NOAA NOAA CoastWatch • OceanWatch

CoastWatch Utilities 3.3.2

CoastWatch NOAA

Help Desk email

(301) 683-3335

The CoastWatch Utilities is a set of software tools for viewing, analyzing, and converting CoastWatch satellite image data files.

Table of Contents

  • Software Features

  • New in Version 3.3.2 (build 2299)

  • Screenshots

  • Downloads

  • Documentation

  • Presentations

Software Features

The CoastWatch Utilities let users work with earth science data created by NOAA CoastWatch / OceanWatch. Users can easily view and convert data in various formats: HDF 4, NOAA 1b, and NetCDF 4. The software has both interactive and batch processing tools. The functionality includes:

Information and Statistics - File contents, statistics computations on variables (for example min, max, mean, standard deviation), direct access to raw file and variable attributes.

Data Processing - Data format conversions, compositing, generic variable math, data sampling.

Graphics and Visualization - Interactive visualization/analysis, batch image rendering, ancillary graphics creation such as data coverage maps, grids, coastlines, land masks.

Registration and Navigation - Resampling of data from one projection to another, interactive generation of region masters, manual and automatic navigational correction, computation of solar and earth location angles.

Network - Data download and server status.

The CoastWatch Utilities are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

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New in Version 3.3.2

• CDAT now displays iQuam SST quality monitoring point data files and computes the statistics between image and point data attributes. Use by adding a shape overlay to an image and selecting an iQuam SST data file.

• New support for NetCDF 4 files in level 2 swath projection and non-geographic dimensions.

• NetCDF 4 files now have better support for grid mapped projections in the CF metadata.

• GeoTIFF output now supports UTM projection data and has more accurate projection information.

• New command line options in the registration, rendering, and statistics tools.

• The registration tool performance is now greatly improved in some cases where source and destination data is chunked.

• NetCDF 4 data is now correctly displayed in the case where a cylindrical projection is used with irregularly spaced latitude and longitude axes.

• The color scale legend in PDF output plots has an improved appearance in onscreen PDF readers.

See the User's Guide Appendix G for a list of major updates and bug fixes.

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The following are screenshots from the CoastWatch Data Analysis Tool (CDAT):


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Downloads (version 3.3.2 build 2299)

Download the current packages below. For help with installation, consult the Installation Notes section of the User's Guide. Please submit errors or bug reports to A MD5 checksum for the packages listed below is provided: md5sum
Operating system Architecture Package
Windows 64-bit Visual C++ Redistributable Package (prerequisite for Windows users)
Linux 64-bit cwutils-3_3_2_2299-linux-x86_64.tar.gz
Mac OS X 64-bit cwutils-3_3_2_2299-macosx-x86_64.dmg

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• CoastWatch Data Analysis Tool Demo

• CoastWatch Software Library and Utilities User’s Guide Version 3.3.2

• Encoding CoastWatch Satellite Data in NetCDF using the CF Metadata Conventions

• Comparison of Metadata Standards

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The CoastWatch Utilities, presented at the CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch Annual Meeting, July/August 2017, Santa Cruz, California. Topics covered: historical data products/distribution/software, software development process and functionality, packages available, latest beta version. (cw_utilities_2017.pdf)

CDAT Demo Annual Meeting, topics covered include: software distribution page, opening data files, enhancement & palettes, overlays, surveys, masking, full screen mode, export to PNG and PDF.


The CoastWatch Utilities, presented at the CoastWatch/OceanWatch Meeting, January 2016, Miami, Florida. Topics covered: current software functionality and packages, development history, code architecture, and in-progress features. ( cw_utilities_2016.pdf)


CoastWatch Data Analysis Tool: Software Design Review, presented to the CoastWatch Program Manager, central operations team, and node operations managers, January 2008. Topics covered: proposed software design including simplified user interface, data aggregation, 4D-aware interface, tile mode and animation support, and geographic feature support.


The CoastWatch Data Analysis Tool: Status and Future, presented at the CoastWatch Node Managers Meeting, August 2008, Victoria, BC. Topics covered: history of CDAT and its ongoing development, new features in release 3.2.2, current user stats, future release ideas.


The CoastWatch Utilities: Ten Years in the Making, presented at the CoastWatch Operations Managers Meeting, June 2007, Annapolis, Maryland. Topics covered: General information about the utilities, features and statistics for the current release (3.2.1), ideas for future releases.

Ad-hoc Processing with the CoastWatch Utilities, presented at the CoastWatch Operations Managers Meeting, June 2007, Annapolis, Maryland. Topics covered: Extracting information from data files (metadata, statistics, sampling), data processing (reprojection, math), custom code (data interfaces, file interfaces).

CoastWatch Data in Google Earth: A How-to Guide, presented at the CoastWatch Operations Managers Meeting, June 2007, Annapolis, Maryland. Topics covered: Google Earth features in comparison to CDAT, preparing data images and markup code, demonstration with AVHRR swath and GOES SST data.


The CoastWatch Utilities Version 3.2: CoastWatch Data Made Easy, presented at the CoastWatch Node Managers Meeting, October 2005, Pacific Grove, California. Topics covered: Common tasks performed by the utilities, types of documentation available, details on software development (requirements and users), demonstration (not included).


The CoastWatch Utilities Version 3, presented at the CoastWatch Node Managers Meeting, October 2003, Glen Arbor, Michigan. Topics covered: Software requirements (website, research, product development), implementation details (survey of all utilities), future work to be done.

The CoastWatch Data Analysis Tool, presented at the CoastWatch Node Managers Meeting, October 2003, Glen Arbor, Michigan. Topics covered: Target user groups, functionality (data import/export, display, annotation, statistics, preferences), demonstration (not included), future work to be done.

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