ASDF - Advanced Scientific Data Format

asdf is a tool for reading and writing Advanced Scientific Data Format (ASDF) files.

The Advanced Scientific Data Format (ASDF) is a next-generation interchange format for scientific data. This package contains the Python implementation of the ASDF Standard. More information on the ASDF Standard itself can be found here.

The ASDF format has the following features:

  • A hierarchical, human-readable metadata format (implemented using YAML)
  • Numerical arrays are stored as binary data blocks which can be memory mapped. Data blocks can optionally be compressed.
  • The structure of the data can be automatically validated using schemas (implemented using JSON Schema)
  • Native Python data types (numerical types, strings, dicts, lists) are serialized automatically
  • ASDF can be extended to serialize custom data types


This is the Advanced Scientific Data Format - if you are looking for the Adaptable Seismic Data Format, go here:

API Documentation

Contributing and reporting issues

We welcome feedback and contributions of all kinds. Contributions of code, documentation, or general feedback are all appreciated.

Feature requests and bug reports for the Python implementation can be posted at ASDF’s github page.

The ASDF Standard itself also has a repository on github. Suggestions for improvements to the ASDF Standard can be reported here.

See also