Hierarchical Data Format .HDF File Description

Surfer imports and exports data sets in Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) Version 4.

Hierarchical Data Format, commonly abbreviated HDF, HDF4, or HDF5 is a library and multi-object file format for the transfer of graphical and numerical data between computers. It was created by the NCSA, but is currently maintained by The HDF Group. The freely available HDF distribution consists of the library, command-line utilities, test suite source, Java interface, and the Java-based HDF Viewer (HDFView).

HDF supports several different data models, including multidimensional arrays, raster images, and tables. Each defines a specific aggregate data type and provides an API for reading, writing, and organizing the data and metadata. New data models can be added by the HDF developers or users.

HDF is self-describing, allowing an application to interpret the structure and contents of a file without any outside information. One HDF file can hold a mixture of related objects which can be accessed as a group or as individual objects. Users can create their own grouping structures called "vgroups."

Loading HDF Files

HDF files are similar to grid files and can be loaded to create a grid based map (i.e. Home | New Map | Contour), or when using the functions in the Grids tab.

Import Options Dialog

If the HDF data set contains multiple entities, you will be presented with a list of entities from which to choose.

Import Automation Options


Saving HDF Files

Use the Grids | Edit | Convert command in the plot window, or the File | Save As command in the grid node editor to save a .HDF file and open the HDF Export Options dialog. Alternatively, the .HDF format is available when prompted to save a grid file. Surfer saves in the HDF version 4 format.

See Also

File Format Chart

Hierarchical Data Format .HDF Export Automation Options

Hierarchical Data Format .HDF Export Options Dialog