5.3. Reduced Horizontal Grid

A "reduced" longitude-latitude grid is one in which the points are arranged along constant latitude lines with the number of points on a latitude line decreasing toward the poles. Storing this type of gridded data in two-dimensional arrays wastes space, and results in the presence of missing values in the 2D coordinate variables. We recommend that this type of gridded data be stored using the compression scheme described in Section 8.2, “Compression by Gathering”. Compression by gathering preserves structure by storing a set of indices that allows an application to easily scatter the compressed data back to two-dimensional arrays. The compressed latitude and longitude auxiliary coordinate variables are identified by the coordinates attribute.

Example 5.3. Reduced horizontal grid

  londim = 128 ;
  latdim = 64 ;
  rgrid = 6144 ;
  float PS(rgrid) ;
    PS:long_name = "surface pressure" ;
    PS:units = "Pa" ;
    PS:coordinates = "lon lat" ;
  float lon(rgrid) ;
    lon:long_name = "longitude" ;
    lon:units = "degrees_east" ;
  float lat(rgrid) ;
    lat:long_name = "latitude" ;
    lat:units = "degrees_north" ;
  int rgrid(rgrid);
    rgrid:compress = "latdim londim";

PS(n) is associated with the coordinate values lon(n), lat(n). Compressed grid index (n) would be assigned to 2D index (j,i) (C index conventions) where

j = rgrid(n) / 128
i = rgrid(n) - 128*j

Notice that even if an application does not recognize the compress attribute, the grids stored in this format can still be handled, by an application that recognizes the coordinates attribute.