The MINC file format (Medical Image NetCDF) is based on the NetCDF file format (Network Common Data Form) distributed by the Unidata Program Center. NetCDF provides a software interface for storing named, multi-dimensional variables in files in a machine-independent way. This interface removes applications from the concerns of portability and file structure and encourages a self-describing form of data.
Each NetCDF multi-dimensional variable in a file is described by a
name, by its dimensions and by attributes. For example, an image
stored in a file might be stored as byte data in a variable called
image'', with dimensions ``
x'' and ``
of length 256) and with an attribute called ``
is a string describing the content of the image. Many variables can be
stored in one file and each variable can have many attributes.
Dimensions exist independently of variables and can subscript more
than one variable.
MINC provides three things on top of the NetCDF interface. It provides a standard for dimension, variable and attribute names suitable for medical imaging, it provides some convenience functions to complement the NetCDF interface (not specific to the MINC conventions) and it provides convenience functions for using MINC files.