NEON Data API
The free NEON API can be used by anyone to quickly access NEON data from field-based instruments or observations as well as information about our data products and sampling locations. Scroll down to expand and interact with the example API calls.
Tell us what you think: If you have design ideas, functionality requests, bug notes, examples of how you used the API, or anything else you would like us to know, please file an issue and tell us about it!
Developer request: Take it slow. This beta API is an early release and will absolutely change in the future as we receive feedback from the community on how to improve it. To preserve the function of our web portal, we reserve the right to restrict access to the API, or, if necessary, discontinue the API without notice.
The /products endpoint allows you to find metadata about current and future data products from the NEON project. You can get a quick overview of what products are available in the data product catalog (which was built with this API!).
Data products in the API are usually specified using a 13 character code, as shown in the data product catalog. For instance, Chemical properties of groundwater uses product code DP1.20092.001, where DP1 refers to data level 1 (quality controlled), 20092 is the unique numeric id of the data product, and 001 refers to the revision (all of our data products are currently provisional and annotated as revision 1).
The /sites endpoint allows you to find metadata about NEON field sites where data from field-based instruments or observations are currently available.. Numerous data products are produced from each site. Site names are usually abbreviated into four-letter site codes -- for example, the Arikaree River site abbreviation is ARIK. If you need to know about sites where data will be offered in the future, you can find a listing on our main website. If you need to know about our remote sensing data availability, visit the Airborne Data webpage.
Important note: locations are case sensitive!
The /locations endpoint provides more detailed information about where NEON collects data than the /sites endpoint. A location is any discrete place or administrative region in the NEON system, ranging from our huge ecoregions (domains) to single data collection points. Examples of locations include Domain 02, or the Central Plains Experimental Range, Plot 11, mammal collection point A10, or Niwot Ridge Mountain Research Station Megapit MP1.
As of this writing, there are 154,039 locations in the NEON system.
There is one special location in the system though, that most people don't see: REALM. REALM is the top of the location hierarchy, and contains all of the domain names as "locationChildren". Each domain, in turn, contains all of its site codes. Each site contains towers, measurement plots, observation spots, and more. By traversing this hierarchy of locations, information about any point in the NEON system is available.
Important note: The URLs that files are retrieved from will change in the coming months, due to internal architectural changes.
The /data endpoint shows which monthly data files are available, and allows them to be downloaded. Other files such as readmes, variable lists, and specification documents must still be retrieved through the data portal.
To keep data files to a reasonable size, they are arranged as .csv's in product/site/monthly chunks. The /products and /sites endpoints can be used to determine which months are available.
At the time of writing, total data available through the API exceeds 110 GiB. Not surprisingly, files can be reasonably large. You may find it worthwhile to check the size attribute before downloading!