Building the catalog

Building the catalog#

The access-nri-intake package includes a command line script called catalog-build for building catalogs using the tools described in the previous sections from Configuration files that specify the paths to sources and which Builders and Translators to use. It can be used as follows:

$ catalog-build --help
usage: catalog-build [-h] [--build_base_path BUILD_BASE_PATH] [--catalog_file CATALOG_FILE]
                     [--version VERSION]
                     config_yaml [config_yaml ...]

Build an intake-dataframe-catalog from YAML configuration file(s).

positional arguments:
  config_yaml           Configuration YAML file(s) specifying the Intake source(s) to add.

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --build_base_path BUILD_BASE_PATH
                        Directory in which to build the catalog and source(s). A directory with name
                        equal to the version (see the `--version` argument) of the catalog being built
                        will be created here. The catalog file (see the `--catalog_file` argument) will
                        be written into this version directory, and any new intake source(s) will be
                        written into a 'source' directory within the version directory. Defaults to the
                        current work directory.
  --catalog_file CATALOG_FILE
                        The name of the intake-dataframe-catalog. Defaults to 'metacatalog.csv'
  --version VERSION     The version of the catalog to build/add to. Defaults to the current version of

The ACCESS-NRI catalog is built using this script by submitting the shell script in the bin/ directory of ACCESS-NRI/access-nri-intake-catalog. See the section on Preparing a new release for more details.

Configuration files#

The catalog-build script reads configuration files like the ones found in ACCESS-NRI/access-nri-intake-catalog (these are the configuration files used to build the ACCESS-NRI catalog). Configuration files should include the Builder and Translator to use along with a list of sources to process. As a minimum, each source should specify the path(s) to pass to the Builder and the path to the metadata.yaml file for that source. Additional kwargs to pass to the Builder can also be specified. As an example, a configuration file might look something like:

builder: AccessCm2Builder

translator: DefaultTranslator


  - path:
      - /g/data/p73/archive/non-CMIP/ACCESS-CM2/bx944
      - /g/data/p73/archive/non-CMIP/ACCESS-CM2/bx944a
      - /g/data/p73/archive/non-CMIP/ACCESS-CM2/bx944b
      - /g/data/p73/archive/non-CMIP/ACCESS-CM2/bx944c
      - /g/data/p73/archive/non-CMIP/ACCESS-CM2/bx944d
    metadata_yaml: /g/data/p73/archive/non-CMIP/ACCESS-CM2/bx944/metadata.yaml
    ensemble: true

In most cases, adding a new Intake-ESM datastore to the ACCESS-NRI catalog should be as simple as adding a new entry to the configuration files and rebuilding the catalog.

metadata.yaml files#

Each source in the catalog must have an associated metadata.yaml file that includes key high-level metadata about the data product. This is to ensure that there is core metadata associated with all data products in the catalog. Additionally, this core metadata is added to the corresponding Intake-ESM datastore’s metadata attribute, meaning it is available to Translators and to catalog users wanting to know more about a particular product. The contents of the metadata.yaml files are validated against access_nri_intake.catalog.EXP_JSONSCHEMA (see Adding sources) when the script catalog-build is called to ensure that all required metadata is available prior to building the catalog. The metadata.yaml file should include the following:

schema_version: <The version of the schema (string)>
name: <REQUIRED The name of the experiment (string)>
experiment_uuid: <REQUIRED Unique uuid for the experiment (string)>
description: <REQUIRED Short description of the experiment (string, < 150 char)>
long_description: <REQUIRED Long description of the experiment (string)>
- <The name(s) of the model(s) used in the experiment (string)>
- <The realm(s) included in the experiment (string)>
- <The frequency(/ies) included in the experiment (string)>
- <The variable(s) included in the experiment (string)>
- <The nominal resolution(s) of model(s) used in the experiment (string)>
version: <The version of the experiment (number, string)>
contact: <Contact name for the experiment (string)>
email: <Email address of the contact for the experiment (string)>
created: <Initial creation date of experiment (string)>
reference: <Citation or reference information (string)>
license: <License of the experiment (string)>
url: <Relevant url, e.g. github repo for experiment configuration (string)>
parent_experiment: <experiment_uuid for parent experiment if appropriate (string)>
- <experiment_uuids for any related experiment(s) (string)>
notes: <Additional notes (string)>
- <Keywords to associated with experiment (string)>

Ideally this file will live in the base output directory of your model run so that it’s easy for others to find, even if they aren’t using the catalog (but it doesn’t have to).


The access-nri-intake package includes some command-line utility scripts to help with creating and validating metadata.yaml files:

  • To create an empty metadata.yaml template in the current directory:

    $ metadata-template

    You’ll then need to replace all the values enclosed in <>. Fields marked as REQUIRED are required. All other fields are encouraged but can be deleted or commented out if they are not relevant.

  • To validate a metadata.yaml file (i.e. to check that required fields are present with required types):

    $ metadata-validate <path/to/metadata.yaml>