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EPIC was developed at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory to manage the large numbers of hydrographic and time series oceanographic in-situ data sets collected as part of NOAA climate study programs, such as EPOCS and TOGA in earlier years, WOCE and CLIVAR and others more recently. At present, PMEL maintains more than 1.5 million individual data sets in the EPIC data base. This data is available on-line to researchers inside PMEL on the desktop and on the Web via PMEL's internal Intranet. Portions of the data are freely available outside PMEL via the World Wide Web. EPIC toolkits have also been used to manage and display the real-time data such as TOGA-TAO buoy data, which provides remote users with interactive access to real-time data.

EPIC Data Sets

Data types include CTD, XBT, bottle data, time series from moored instruments, shipboard ADCP data, drifting buoy data, and sea level data. Data files are self-documenting and machine transportable. Multiple data file formats include netCDF data format, Classic EPIC format, and formatted ASCII data format are supported for access from C and Fortran by the EPIC System Library (EPSLIB). Detailed information about how to create EPIC data filese are available including the EPIC implementation of the Unidata netCDF format.

EPIC Database Management

EPIC in-situ data residing on UNIX workstation disks can be managed with any SQL database system such as Ingres, mSQL, postgreSQL, or MySQL database. The EPIC metadata, the information about the data, stored in the databases, can be accessed using a command-line interactive program, World Wide Web browsers, or a Motif-based X-window application that allows users to locate data in the underlying databases by specific selection constraints such as geographic, time, depth range, etc. These applications communicate with back-end databases, making it easy and convenient for remote users as well as local users to access EPIC data. Refer to EPIC database page for detailed information about EPIC database management.

EPIC Programs and Utilities

EPIC system contains a full suite of routines provide graphical display, data analysis and calculation of oceanographic parameters, such as dynamic height, geostrophic velocity, potential density, statistics, spectral analysis, coherences, correlations, and EOFs. EPIC data sets can be used with these EPIC programs (Unix and VAX/VMS), with C or Fortran programs using the EPSLIB I/O library, with the MATLAB MexEPS interface, and can be made available on the World Wide Web with the EPIC Web Utilities. Many Java applications and tools are also available for data access and display.

Obtaining EPIC

EPIC is freely available for Unix and for VAX/VMS. Elements of EPIC are in use at many oceanographic institutes, and the PMEL team welcomes collaboration and software exchange with others using any of the system elements.