Understanding Exported File formats from HydroClient

All of the data files downloaded in HydroClient are in .csv format and compressed as .zip files. Additionally, they all contain the same metadata fields as a result of all data publishers conforming to one information model, the Observations Data Model. HydroClient provides two options for exporting data: (1) Export selections in combined file (2) Export each selection in a separate file. The first option, Export selections in combined file, is limited to signed in Users. The combined file format allows Users to more easily analyze several data series simultaneously. The data series are organized as shown below.

Notice the two data series are stacked, with the first series having the site name, "WILKES BA.." and the second series having the site name, "#478 Pal..."

The separate file format is shown below.

Rows 1 and 2 of each .csv file contain metadata fields that are common to all of the values (i.e. observations) in the file. They are:

  • Organization: The organization that has gathered or created the data.
  • SourceDescription: A description the organization listed.
  • SourceLink: A URL for more information about the organization listed.
  • VariableName: The parameter measured or being observed such as Temperature or Discharge. This comes from CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary.
  • VarUnits: The units in which the parameter is being observed such as cubic feet per second. This comes from the CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary.
  • SampleMedium: The medium that is being measured such as surface water or groundwater. 
  • MethodDescription: A description of the Method used to make the observation. 
  • QualityControlLevel: An indication of the quality control performed on the data.
  • DataType: A categorization of the data into one of many categories in the CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary such as Continuous or Sporadic. 
  • ValueType: A categorization of the value into one of many categories in the CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary such as Field Observation, Estimated Value, or Derived Value.
  • IsRegular: A True or False statement indicating whether the time series contains regularly spaced observations. 
  • TimeSupport: A value that indicates the temporal footprint of the data values. Zero is used to indicate data values that are instantaneous. Other values indicate the time over which the data values are averaged or aggregated.
  • TimeUnits: The unit in which the Time Support is given. This comes from the CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary. 
  • SiteName: The name given by the data publisher for the location of the observation. 
  • SiteCode: The unique code given by the data publisher for the location of the observation.
  • Latitude: Latitude for the site's location.
  • Longitude: Longitude for the site's location.
  • GeneralCategory: A category for the data, which is taken from the CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary.
  • NoDataValue: A non-plausible value that indicates if an observation is missing such as -9999. 
  • Citation: A suggested citation for the data from the data publisher.

Row 3 contains headers that apply to all rows below. These fields are:

  • UTCTimeStamp: The time that the observation was made in Coordinated Universal Time.
  • Value: The numeric value of the observation.
  • OffsetType: A description of the offset for the observation.
  • OffsetValue: The numeric value for the offset.
  • ValueAccuracy: Numeric value that describes the measurement accuracy of the data value. If not given, it is interpreted as unknown.
  • Qualifier: Text of the data qualifying comment
  • CensorCode: Text indication of whether the data value is censored, which comes from the CUAHSI Controlled Vocabulary. 
  • UTCOffset: The difference from the locations local time to UTC time in hours.

Starting with Row 4, all rows are unique with each row representing one observation at a given time at that place. 


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