Data Distribution Formats

Coweeta LTER data sets are generally available in multiple file formats to suit various end-user requirements and software capabilities. The list below summarizes the main features of these formats and recommendations for common types of software.

  • Spreadsheet Excel Format (*.XLS)
    • Proprietary Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet format
    • contains a minimal file header listing the column names (the metadata is provided separately)
    • recommended for users of spreadsheet applications
  • Spreadsheet Optimized Text Format (*.CSV)
    • Comma Delimited text file optimized for import into a spreadsheet, such as excel.
    • Contains double quotes to delineate text and a minimal file header listing the column names (the metadata is provided separately)
    • recommended for users of spreadsheet applications
  • Spreadsheet dbase Format (*.dbf)
    • Proprietary dbase Spreadsheet format
    • contains a minimal file header listing the column names (the metadata is provided separately)
    • recommended for users of spreadsheet and database applications
  • Standard Text Format (*.TXT)
    • Tab Delimited text file.
    • Contains double quotes to delineate text and a minimal file header listing the column names (the metadata is provided separately)
    • recommended for users of spreadsheet applications
  • EML-described Text Format (*.TXT)
    • tab-delimited text file with a one line header containing column titles only, as described in the corresponding EML metadata document
    • intended for downloading via data table distribution links in the EML document (i.e. eml/dataset/dataTable/physical/distribution/online/url)
    • also recommended for users of spreadsheet or database programs
  • GCE Data Toolbox Format (*.MAT)
  • GCE Standard CSV Format (*.MAT)
    • Comma Delimited file in the standard GCE Data Structure format, with a file header containing full GCE metadata with additional quotes and commas for proper parsing
    • recommended for MATLAB users who have downloaded the GCE Data Toolbox program
  • MATLAB Format (*.MAT)
    • MATLAB files with data in columns with a single header row format
    • recommended for MATLAB users.
  • Archived Microsoft Access Database Format (*.MDB within a *.ZIP)
    • Relational Database with multiple tables and files.
    • Database tables and variables are described within the file
    • May include GIS data in ESRI Personal Geodatabase formats
    • Recommended for uses with SQL and GIS experience
    • Will come in an archived .ZIP file for download.
  • Archived ESRI Shapefile format (*.ZIP)
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) vector data package consisting of proprietary file stack comprised of .shp, .shx, and .dbf files
    • contains a minimal file header listing the column names (the metadata is provided separately)
    • Recommended for uses with GIS experience
  • Archived ERDAS Imagine format (*.ZIP)
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) raster data package consisting of proprietary file stack comprised of .img, .xml, and .rrd files
    • an ordered, symmetrical set of rows and columns containing individual values for a given measure that is linked to a single area (the metadata is provided separately)
    • Recommended for uses with GIS experience