CoastWatch Image Software

To download a software click the software link, in "Authentication required" box type in anonymous as user name, type your email address as password.

For CoastWatch Files

CoastWatch AVHRR satellite image files, which contain image data, coastline and lat./long. graphics, and header information, are compressed using a special compression format. Thus, a program is needed to decompress the image data and separate the other information for use with the imagery. Once decompressed, the images are converted to 8-bit raster files and can then be displayed using CoastWatch provided software (or any image processing software). A number of computer programs have been developed for both PC, UNIX and MAC workstations, which facilitate the use of the AVHRR sea-surface temperature and albedo imagery.

  • CoastWatch Software Library and Utilities v3.2.3 Tools (CDAT)

  • The CoastWatch Software Library and Utilities is a package of software tools for working with NOAA CoastWatch satellite data. The utilities allow data users to easily manipulate and visualize satellite data in both the new CoastWatch HDF (.hdf) files and the older CoastWatch IMGMAP (.cwf) files. The utilities are composed of both graphical and command-line tools.

    The core software functionality:

    • Render data and legends to PNG, JPEG, PDF, and GeoTIFF images.
    • Export data to raw binary, text, or ArcGIS grid files.
    • Convert from older CWF format to CoastWatch HDF.
    • Obtain information on file attributes, dimensions, and variables.
    • Manually apply navigational corrections.
    • Perform generic math operations, including cloud masking.
    • Calculate data statistics: min, max, mean, standard deviation.
    • Combine multiple data files into one composite file.
    • Perform data sampling at discrete Earth locations.
    • Perform satellite data registration to a common master region.
    • Generate graphical dataset coverage maps.


    • Support for rendering line and polygon data from ESRI shapefiles.
    • Support for transparency in graphics overlay colors, useful when rendering "highlight" polygons.
    • Log enhancement scaling in CDAT for use in chlorophyll plotting.
    • GIF image output in CDAT and cwrender.
    • Support for AVHRR NOAA 1b version 3 files.
    • New tool for automatic navigational correction using image data.
    • Improved manual page documentation and command-line usage notes via "-h" option.
    • Bug fixes for CDAT in PDF and image rendering code.
    • Updated icon set and Unix/Linux look-and-feel.
    • Updated code for cleaning up partially written files after command-line tool failure.
    • On Windows/Linux/Solaris, Java is now included in the download
    • On-the-fly units conversion in CDAT
    • Support for latest NOAA 1b data including MetOp
    • Reformatted and more accessible help system
    • Faster application startup
    • Full screen data display mode
    • Support for NOAA 1b files with scan line gaps
    • Navigation error analysis panel in CDAT
    • Support for NOAA KLMN 1b format AMSU and MHS data files.
    • Improved support for GRIB 2 format files.
    • Improved performance when working with large ACSPO and CoastWatch HDF swath data files.

    New features in the 3.3.0 b54 release include:

    • New 64-bit support for all operating systems
    • Read support for NetCDF 4 data with CF-1.4 metadata (experimental)
    • Command line rendering options for adding water marks and custom color palettes


  • Glsea_reader
    glsea_reader.sav is a IDL binary file for PC, that converts Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA) file (512x400) from gif format to asc (txt) format.

    A non-windows decompression, viewing, and analysis software. It uses expanded memory and is written to run on IBM-PC type platforms. Requires a 640x480 VGA display capable of 256 colors, and 8 MB of RAM.

    A decompression and PostScript printing program for CoastWatch imagery. Makes a hard-copy with the NOAA/CoastWatch logo, image header information, and a temperature or albedo scale alongside the print.

  • WinCwips
    A windows version of CWIPS.

    A versatile decompression program for CoastWatch images that allows the user to decide on data ranges, interactive or batch processing, and has options for dealing with header and graphics.

  • CWFTOARC for Windows
    The cwftoarc utility converts CoastWatch data files to either an ASCII or binary GRID file for use in the ArcView or ARC/INFO GIS packages from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. The User's Guide is in PDF or PostScript format.

  • CWFTOARC for Solaris 2.6
    The cwftoarc utility for SUN UNIX.

    A simple viewer for CoastWatch images, for regular VGA monitor. This program decompresses the image, header, and graphics and displays the image with an adjustable temperature bar and instant data readout.

  • sstimgsgi_24
    A CoastWatch viewing/analysis application, for SGI UNIX workstations with 24 bits graphics, written in IDL ( Interactive Display Language, by Research Systems, Inc.). This is a graphic user interface application with many interesting features; requires an IDL license.

  • sstimgsun_24
    For SUN UNIX workstations with 24 bits graphics.

  • sstimgsun_8
    For SUN UNIX workstations with 8 bits graphics.

  • IDIDAS_v3
    The original CoastWatch viewing and analysis software. Requires a second monitor and a special graphics board.

    Callable IDIDAS routines that never made it into the main program.

  • ID3DOC
    Complete IDIDAS documentation.

    Generic image viewer (shareware).

  • GSview
    GSview is a graphical interface for Ghostscript. Ghostscript is an interpreter for the PostScript page description language used by laser printers.

  • masks
    Great Lakes land mask files and coastline files.

Web Tools

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