OSGeo Community program welcomes the Mesh Data Abstraction Library (MDAL) project

The Mesh Data Abstraction Library (MDAL) project has been accepted into the OSGeo Community program.

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation is pleased to welcome the Mesh Data Abstraction Library (MDAL) to our Community program. MDAL is a translator library for more than 15 unstructured mesh geospatial formats used mainly in meteorology and hydrology.


The OSGeo Community program recognizes applications and tools that are geospatial, freely available with an open source license, and are setup to collaborate fairly. This program helps OSGeo promote innovation and the hard work of teams and organizations worldwide. “It’s great to see MDAL as a community project as it fulfils a vital function in opening up the use of mesh frameworks in popular open source GIS packages such as QGIS, says Jo Cook, OSGeo Incubation Committee.


The MDAL projects addresses lowering the barrier to meteorological and hydrological data using geospatial toolkits. The driver provides low level I/O to access unstructured mesh data for the purpose of visualisation, processing and editing. MDAL is under active development and being sponsored by industry-lead organisations.


The project source code is hosted on GitHub. Documentation and information about supported data formats can be found at the MDAL website.

About the MDAL project

In addition to vectors and regular gridded data in GIS, the real world can be modelled using unstructured mesh. In addition to the complex data structure, the mesh can also contain vectoral (e.g. wind speed) and temporal data. The common conventions to store such datasets are Hierarchical Data Format (HDF), Network Common Data Form (NetCDF), GRIdded Binary (GRIB) or ASCII formats. There are already tools to convert the formats to common raster or vector datasets. But with MDAL, software applications can natively read the data.

An example of integration of MDAL with other OSGeo projects can be found in QGIS: mesh layer provides the input/output data through MDAL driver and QGIS is being used to render and process the data.

About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation


The Open Source Geospatial Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(4) organization to empower everyone with open source geospatial. The software foundation directly supports projects serving as an outreach and advocacy organization providing financial, organizational and legal support for the open source geospatial community.

OSGeo works with GeoCat, OPENGIS.ch, Gaia3D and other sponsors, along with our partners to foster an open approach to software, standards, data and education.


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