The International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI/LDEO) Climate Data Library contains a wide variety of Earth science data, primarily oceanographic and atmospheric datasets. This site is designed to make the library accessible and user-friendly for novices and advanced users alike, with services such as an introduction to climate data, a data library overview, and step-by-step examples, as well as posted answers to commonly asked questions. There are three main divisions of the data library: the Maproom, Finding Data, and Mastering the Data Library. The Maproom is a collection of maps and other figures that monitor climate conditions at present and in the recent past. The map rooms are divided into 3 sections: Global, Regional, and El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The maps and figures can be manipulated and are linked to the original data. Even if the primary interest is in data rather than figures, this is a good place to see which datasets are particularly useful for monitoring current conditions. Finding Data includes database searches, electronic magazines, and interactive learning materials. Mastering the Data Library is divided into many sections which help users interact with the data. The interface allows the user to make plots, tables, and files from any dataset, its subsets, or processed versions thereof. A data server is designed to make data accessible to people using WWW clients (viewers) and to serve as a data resource for WWW documents. Since most documents cannot use raw data, the server is able to deliver the data in a variety of ways: as data files, as tables, and in a variety of plots (line, contour, color, vector) and plot formats (PostScript and gif). Processing of the data, particularly averaging and sampling, can be requested as well. The ultimate vision is to automatically create a web of hypertext that connects final results to analyses of the original data.
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