YAML Encoding ASCII format (also known as YAML format) serves as the data file format for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment/Follow-On (GRACE/GRACE-FO) missions—a series of NASA missions to measure the Earth’s gravity. The YAML format has been successfully applied to the GRACE data since June 2019.
The YAML Encoding ASCII Format for GRACE/GRACE-FO Mission Data was approved for use in NASA Earth science data in 2019.
NASA Earth Science Community Recommendations for Use
This document introduces and describes the “YAML Ain’t Markup Language” (YAML) encoding as the standard format for NASA GRACE/GRACE-FO mission ASCII data. YAML encoding provides a simple and user-friendly structure for representing Earth science data in the ASCII format. YAML, technically, a superset of JSON, is designed to be useful and friendly for people working with data. Its software-agonistic accessibility adds great power to data stored in an ASCII file that is being used across different platforms and programming languages.
The YAML format has been successfully applied to the NASA GRACE/GRACE-FO Missions (a series of NASA missions to measure the earth’s gravity) ASCII products, mainly focused on the file header structure. Adhering to a standardized metadata model from the PO.DAAC Metadata Best Practices Document that is in compliance with Climate and Forecast (CF) Metadata, Attribute Convention for Data Discovery (ACDD) and International Standard (ISO) conventions, the YAML header enables the ASCII file to become more discoverable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. This document provides detailed guidance for constructing a YAML formatted ASCII file for Earth science data.
A checklist showing a summary of the requirements and recommendations found in the ASCII File Format Guidelines for Earth science data and the results of vetting the YAML Encoding ASCII format for GRACE/GRACE-FO mission Data can be found in NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Standards Coordination Office (ESCO) ASCII File Format List.