[CF-metadata] CF standard names : request for statement of the issues

Nan Galbraith ngalbraith at whoi.edu
Sun Nov 16 08:10:33 MST 2008

> We'd like to come up with a clear statement of what standard names are (or should be), and what are the problems and issues that we should be focusing on next.
> You are invited to send input to this email group, ideally as concisely as possible. You are welcome to add your ideas of possible solutions, but it would be helpful to keep those separate for now.
The standard names are useful to us because they take most of the 
guesswork out
of sharing data - you know what you're looking for or looking at, and 
you know
how to name your data so that it will be used appropriately.  The 
and the use of udunits are what makes this work - without those CF would not
be so valuable to us.

The main problem with CF for (some of us) in the observational community 
is that
we have a lot of parameters that haven't even begun to be discussed; 
these are
mainly either instrument-level or other non-geophysical variables,  like 
raw beam
velocities from ADCPs, or intermediate parameters, like some of the 
components in
our wind flux calculations.  In the past, we have just assigned 
non-standard names
and figured these variables would not be shared, but that will certainly 
change as
the big observing initiatives take shape.

There's at least one observing system that I know of that's "based on 
CF" that used
the available CF names and added whatever they needed. This was a 
rational solution,
but I think it would have been preferable to add the names to CF - that 
would have
allowed us to check for existing names a little more closely, and would 
have ensured
that there were adequate definitions for the new names.

Trying not to delve into possible solutions too much, I can't help 
adding that having
components available for self-constructing names might make it a lot 
easier to solve
some parts of this problem.

Cheers - Nan

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