This page lists definitions for terms used in the Open Data Cube and this manual.

Australian Geoscience Data Cube#

An Australian project that developed the python library that became ODC.

Application Programming Interface#

The Data Cube Application Programming Interface gives programmers full access to the capabilities of the Cube, allowing query and advanced data retrieval.

Committee on Earth Observation, Systems Engineering Office#

Another group of developers working on ODC

Coordinate Reference System#

Specifies how a set of coordinates relates to a point on the earth.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation#

An Australian research agency participating in development of ODC

Digital Earth Australia#

Geoscience Australia’s deployment of ODC, hosted at the NCI. See the DEA user guide for details on how to access the platform.

Geoscience Australia#

The primary public sector geoscience organisation in Australia. It supports ODC through the development of Digital Earth Australia. For more information see

grid spec#
Grid Specification#

A definition of how some raster data relates to a geospatial grid. Includes a CRS, a zero point, and an X and Y scale.

High Performance Computing#

A supercomputer. These days typically a cluster of high performance computers linked together with high speed networking.


A series of US owned earth observation satellites, with freely available data.


US owned earth observation satellites with freely available data.

National Computation Infrastructure#

Australia’s national research computing facility. It provides computing facilities for use by Australian researchers, industry and government. For more information see

Open Data Cube#

Software for storing, managing and accessing Earth Observation data, and the community formed to further it’s development.

Open Geospatial Consortium#

Open Geospatial Consortium. An organisation which makes geospatial standards, especially relating to web services.


The high performance database engine used as an index of Datasets by the Data Cube. It is both a relational and document database, and the Data Cube schema makes use of both of these capabilities.


The programming language used to develop the Data Cube. It is easy to use while still allowing high performance access and processing capabilities. See for more.

United States Geological Survey#

The USA government organisation which operates both the Landsat and MODIS satellites, which are available as free an open earth observation data.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure#

A virtual desktop environment at NCI that provides a linux desktop environment for scientific computing. For more see

Web Map Service#

A standard for delivery published maps into web browsers and GIS software, defined by the OGC.

Yet Another Markup Language#

A human friendly data serialization standard for all programming languages. It is used for all on disk metadata files and product definitions in the Data Cube.

For more information on the YAML standard see