ERDDAP Data Server

PolarWatch ERDDAP Server

The PolarWatch ERDDAP server distributes oceanographic satellite data in the Polar regions. Some are processed and stored inhouse and some are redistributed data products from our partners and collaborators.

ERDDAP is a data server that gives you a simple, consistent way to download data in the format and the spatial and temporal coverage that you want.

Humans and machines can use ERDDAP

ERDDAP is a web application with an interface for people to use. It is also a RESTful web service that allows data access directly from any computer program (e.g. Matlab, R, or webpages).

Make customized maps and graphs

Use ERRDAP to generate .png and .pdf files on-the-fly from gridded and tabular scientific datasets and insert them directly into webpages.

Search for datasets

ERDDAP’s search capabilities allow full text searches of the metadata or searches by metadata categories, such as keywords, standard name, and data type.


The ERDDAP page has a list of datasets you can preview, visualize and download data.

To search datasets by environmental data catagories, you can visit PolarWatch Catalog page

ERDDAP dataset titles follow a general structure and format to provide a description of the data. While there are exceptions, the following format is commonly used.

Title format:
VariableName, Sensor, Source, Version, Quality, Region, SpatialResolution, TemporalResolution, TemporalComposite

Chlorophyll, NOAA S-NPP VIIRS, Near Real-Time, Global 4km, Level 3, 2017-present, Daily

VariableName : variable(s) of the data product ("Chlorophyll")
Source: entity that created the data product ("NOAA" )
Sensor : sensor(s) used ("VIIRS")
Version: version of the data product (none provided; ex) V3,)
Quality: quality of the data product ("Near Real Time" or "NRT")
Region: geographical coverage of the data ("Global")
SpatialResolution: size of each pixel of the data product ("4km")
TemporalResolution: temporal coverage ("1970-present")
TemporalComposite: temporal coverage of the composite data to create the dataset ("Daily")

Your query is sent to ERDDAP in a specially formed URL containing dataset of interest, a description of how you want the data subsetted or graphed, and the file type you want returned to you.

ERDDAP or you make the URL
You may use ERDDAPs “Data Access” and “Make A Graph” tools to quickly make the URL or bypass the forms by generating the URL by hand or with a computer program or script.

The URLs take the following form https://baseURL/datasetID.fileType{?query}

baseURL: URL to the ERDDAP gridded or tabular dataset
datasetID: unique identifier of the dataset of interest
fileType: specifies the type of data file that you want
query: specify how you want the dataset subsetted