Metadata of Model results in Coastal Engineering

From BAWiki

Model results of coastal waters are systematically described by their meta data. This information will be referenced in an internal use case. Starting from a figure in a text document the reader will be directly forwarded to the meta data of the displayed model results.

These guidelines explain how meta data of coastal models can be collected and provided to the BAW staff. The described method is connected to the use of NetCDF files. It starts with the first step in the processing chain with output of UGRID CF-NETCDF files, the simulation:

1. Collecting metadata of a simulation

Collecting the metadata has been implemented in the modelling system UnTRIM, consisting of the subsequent partial models:

  • Hydrodynamics in the package Utromp2007
  • Morphodynamics in SediMorph
  • Spectral Waves in the k-Model

Missing meta information has to be set by environment variables, which are read by the partial models. It is recommended to bundle those variables in a project wide shell script. For detailed information have a look at the guidelines in German.

2. Collecting meta data of an analysis

The analysis tools at the BAW compute characteristic values out of the model results and write these values again in NetCDF files. They also read the meta data of the modelling results, complement them and write it to its output file. Full story..

3. Creation of sets of meta data

The visualisation tool [[[DAVIT|Davit]]] has been enabled to generate sets of meta data in the machine readable XML-Format and as PDF documents. The user can activate the DMQS metadata generation in Davit's screenshot menu where the output of figures is defined. A reduced set of meta data describing the picture and a second one containing information about the underlying NetCDF file are generated. Full story..

4. Editing and copying of sets of meta data

After simulation or analysis result files are often moved to other hard disks. In order to store data permanently it is e.g. moved into an archive. Since the meta data contains links to steering and result files, the paths in the links have to be adapted. Copying and editing is done with automatically generated scripts. Full story..

5. Referencing sets of meta data in a document

The reader of a dokument can get information about a figure displaying model results by clicking on it. This is technically done by a Word macro referencing the set of meta data in PDF format. Figure and PDF have similar names:

  • <path>/<picture>.png
  • <path>/<picture>.png.pdf: set of meta data for the figure

Full story.

Acknowledgement: This project took advantage of netCDF software developed by UCAR/Unidata (
Under Construction


Meta data of model results is a part of the project data management und quality assurance in waterways engineering (DMQS). See further information on the intranet pages of the BAW.

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