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[MD1] Noesys: Hierarchical Data Format Tool

Dateline—May 19, 1997
Fortner Research Releases Noesys, the First Desktop Tool
for Accessing HDF Data

Sterling, VA—Fortner Research, the “Science Data Experts”, announced
today the release of Noesys, the first desktop software tool for Windows
and Macintosh OS that provides access and control of scientific data
formatted in the popular Hierarchical Data Format (HDF). HDF is a powerful,
open standard file format that was developed by The National Center for
Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) and is used by thousands of scientists
worldwide. The HDF format allows users to easily access data, organize
large amounts of technical data from a variety of sources, and share data
across networks.

“When standard data formats like HDF are adopted, the potential benefits
are huge: the exchange of data and information becomes simpler, powerful
tools for working with data become more available, and the ability to mine
vast quantities of interdisciplinary data becomes feasible,” states Dr.
Brand Fortner, founder of Fortner Research. “Many scientific communities
are seeing the need to adopt data standards to manage the enormous amounts
of data they generate. They are looking for standards that have the tools
to support them. We have developed Noesys to be the catalyst in the
adoption of data standards such as HDF, as well as to assist the tens of
thousands of researchers currently using the HDF standard.”

One scientific community focusing on data standards is earth science, where
NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) will soon be providing terabytes (1,000
gigabytes) of remote sensing data a day. NASA made an unprecedented
decision to provide the majority of this data in a single format, HDF, and
to allow for access to the data via the World Wide Web shortly after it is
collected. Other groups currently using HDF include Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, Goddard Space Flight Center, Johns
Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and many other government agencies and
universities. With this migration, soon more technical data will be stored
in HDF than any other format.

Before Noesys, the only tools available to access data in HDF format were
UNIX-based utilities and a few high-end commercial products that work with
HDF in a limited capacity. Programmers could also download the HDF
libraries from NCSA and compile them into custom applications. Noesys
eliminates these barriers to accessing HDF data. This low-cost tool allows
anyone–from dedicated researcher to high school student–to access, edit,
analyze, manipulate, and visualize the tidal wave of available HDF data.

For Fortner Research, Noesys is only the first step in revolutionizing
access to science data. Using this new technology, Fortner Research will
develop web-based client/server technology to create science data servers.
Through the data servers, users will be able to access and analyze
technical data across intranets, as well as over the Internet. As other
industry-specific data standards arise, Fortner Research will provide the
tools necessary to access, analyze, and visualize that data.

Through July 31, 1997, Noesys is available for an introductory price of
$699 for Windows 95, Windows NT, and Macintosh OS. Current Fortner Research
customers are eligible to purchase Noesys for just $199. To order, call
Fortner Research at (800) 252-6479 or send an e-mail to

To request an evaluation copy of Noesys, please contact Kathy Floam, Public
Relations Coordinator, at (410) 216-9447. You can also get a full listing
of Noesys capabilities by visiting the Fortner Research web site at Fortner Research welcomes product reviews and

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