[CF-metadata] Recommendation for use of standard_name attribute

Rosalyn Hatcher r.s.hatcher at reading.ac.uk
Tue Oct 17 04:05:47 MDT 2006

Dear All,

It has been brought to my attention (Thanks Beate) that the CF Checker 
only detects that
the standard_name attribute has been omitted if there is also no 
long_name specified. (CF 3)
The omission of a standard_name means a consistency check on the units 
can't be made
and so can mask potential units errors.

If there were a positive recommendation to use standard_names where 
appropriate then the
checker could raise a warning that they have been omitted. The user will 
then be aware
that there may be additional errors.  I see a lot of effort being put 
into expanding/maintaining the
standard_name table, I think the convention should encourage people to 
use them.

Hence I'd like to propose an additional recommendation to CF section 3.3 
something along
the lines of:

* All variables should use the standard_name attribute to describe their 
content. Exceptions
are boundary, climatology and grid_mapping variables.


Rosalyn Hatcher
Dept. of Meteorology, University of Reading, 
Earley Gate, Reading. RG6 6BB
Email: r.s.hatcher at reading.ac.uk     Tel: +44 (0) 118 378 7841

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