File Naming Conventions File Naming Conventions

NEON data files are named using a series of component abbreviations separated by periods. File naming conventions for NEON data files differ between NEON science teams. A file will have the same name whether it is accessed via the data portal or the API.

NEON observational systems (OS) data files: NEON.DOM.SITE.DPL.PRNUM.REV.DESC.YYYY-MM.PKGTYPE.GENTIME.csv


NEON eddy covariance (EC) data files contain multiple data products, are formatted using HDF5, and delivered within a zip file:

  • Zip file:
  • Monthly data files: NEON.DOM.SITE.DP4.00200.001.DESC.YYYY-MM.PKGTYPE.h5
  • Daily data files: NEON.DOM.SITE.DP4.00200.001.DESC.YYYY-MM-DD.PKGTYPE.h5

NEON airborne observational platform (AOP) data file naming conventions depend on the data product and contain abbreviations unique to AOP:

Data Products File Name Structure
L1 Products  
  Discrete return lidar, unclassified NEON_DOM_SITE_DPL_LNNN-R_FLIGHTSTRT_DESC.laz
  Discrete return lidar, classified NEON_DOM_SITE_DPL_EEEEEE_NNNNNNN_DESC.laz
  Waveform lidar NEON_DOM_SITE_DPL_LNNN-R_FLIGHTSTRT_DESC.wvz (or .plz)
L2 Products  
  Spectrometer (or .tif)
L3 products  
  Spectrometer / Lidar / Camera NEON_DOM_SITE_DPL_EEEEEE_NNNNNNN_DESC.laz

Component abbreviations used across all data products

Abbreviation Definition
NEON A four-character alphanumeric code, denoting the organizational origin of the data product and identifying the product as operational; data collected as part of a special data collection exercise are designated by a separate, unique alphanumeric code created by the PI.
DOM A three-character alphanumeric code, referring to the domain of data acquisition (D01 - D20).
SITE A four-character alphanumeric code, referring to the site of data acquisition; all sites are designated by a standardized four-character alphabetic code.
DPL A three-character alphanumeric code, referring to data product processing level.
PRNUM A five-character numeric code, referring to the data product number (see the Data Product Catalog at
REV A three-digit designation, referring to the revision number of the data product. The REV value is incremented by 1 each time a major change is made in instrumentation, data collection protocol, or data processing such that data from the preceding revision is not directly comparable to the new.
HOR A three-character alphanumeric code for Spatial Index #1. Refers to measurement locations within one horizontal plane. For example, if five surface measurements were taken, one at each of the five soil array plots, the number in the HOR field would range from 001-005.
VER A three-character alphanumeric code for Spatial Index #2. Refers to measurement locations within one vertical plane. For example, if eight temperature measurements are collected, one at each tower vertical level, the number in the VER field would range from 010-080.
TMI A three-character alphanumeric code for the Temporal Index. Refers to the temporal representation, averaging period, or coverage of the data product (e.g., minute, hour, month, year, sub-hourly, day, lunar month, single instance, seasonal, annual, multi-annual). 000 = native resolution, 001 = native resolution or 1 minute, 002 = 2 minute, 005 = 5 minute, 015 = 15 minute, 030 = 30 minute, 060 = 60 minutes or 1 hour, 101-103 = native resolution of replicate sensor 1, 2, and 3 respectively, 999 = Sensor conducts measurements at varied interval depending on air mass.
DESC An abbreviated description of the data file or table.
YYYY-MM Represents the year and month of the data in the file.
PKGTYPE The type of data package downloaded. Options are 'basic', representing the basic download package, or 'expanded',representing the expanded download package (see more information below).
GENTIME The date-time stamp when the file was generated, in UTC. The format of the date-time stamp is YYYYMMDDTHHmmSSZ.

Component abbreviations used only in AOP data products

Abbreviation Definition
FLIGHTSTRT Start time of flight, YYYYMMDDHH
FLHTSTRT Start time of flight, YYMMDDHH
IMAGEDATETIME Date and time of image capture, YYYYMMDDHHmmSS
CCCCCC Digital camera serial number
NNNN Sequential number for indexing files
NNN Planned flightline number
R Repeat number
FFFFFF Numeric code for an individual flightline
EEEEEE UTM easting of lower left corner
NNNNNNN UTM northing of lower left corner

Time stamp abbreviations across all data products

Abbreviation Definition
YY Year, last two digits only
MM Month: 01-12
DD Day: 01-31
T Indicator that the time stamp is beginning
HH Hours: 00-23
mm Minutes: 00-59
SS Seconds: 00-59
Z Universal Time Coordinated (Universal Coordinated Time), or UTC