You put data into CHORDS like this:
You get data out of CHORDS like this:

Cloud.HOsted.Real-time.Data.Services or CHORDS is a masterpiece of the NSF EarthCube project. It is a real-time data service for the geosciences that provides an easy-to-use system to acquire, navigate, and distribute real-time data via cloud services and the Internet. CHORDS aims to lower the barrier to these services, especially for small instrument teams, and broaden access to real-time data for the geosciences community.

The CHORDS Portal is being developed under NSF grant funding and is not guaranteed to be bug free. Even so, this work has produced a capable, stable and useful product. CHORDS is productively employed by many “friendly users”, and we encourage you to use it, appreciate the simplicity that it brings to real-time data distribution, and provide us with feedback on how it can be improved. CHORDS consists of two components:

  • a real-time instrument data management server (Portal)
  • a collection of higher level web-services that provide advanced, standards based processing (Services).
CHORDS Portal Cartoon

The CHORDS Portal:

  • web server and database that accepts real-time data from distributed instruments and serves the measurements to anyone on the Internet. The data streams are pushed to and pulled from the portal using simple HTTP requests.

  • management tool that allows you to monitor your remote instruments, ensure correct operation, and maximize data collection.

  • rolling archive from which scientists and analysts can easily fetch the data in real-time, delivered directly to browsers, programs, and mobile apps. It will only hold a certain amount of data, but usually enough to give you plenty of time (e.g. months) to transfer to your own archive system. One click brings you a CSV or GeoJSON file. A few lines of code brings data directly into your analysis programs.

  • entry point to sophisticated real-time web services that can convert your data streams to standardized formats, and provide mapping, visualization, discovery, aggregation, and many other web-enabled functions.

Current and Future

Currently, portals only process time-series measurements. Plans are underway to add additional data types, such as ray-oriented measurements and imagery. We are always open to suggestions for other observation types. You can send us suggestions or questions via email at or visit us on our github

Citing CHORDS and Sponsor Acknowledgements

CHORDS has been issued a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) from

We request that researchers cite its use in any relevant publication or other context using this format:

Daniels, M. D., Kerkez, B., Chandrasekar, V., Graves, S., Stamps, D. S., Martin, C., Botnick, A., Gooch, R., Bartos, M., Jones, J., Keiser, K. (2016). Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services for the Geosciences (CHORDS) software (Version 0.9). UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory.

Please see to view the relevant DOI metadata fields.

CHORDS is being developed for the National Science Foundation’s EarthCube program under grants 1639750, 1639720, 1639640, 1639570 and 1639554.

The documentation version is {{ site.github.build_revision }}.