GLIDERSCOPE description

GLIDERSCOPE is an IMOS Ocean Gliders Facility Windows/Mac platform software package designed to allow users quick and easy visualisation of Ocean glider oceanographic data, via a convenient graphical user interface. In accordance to IMOS data file convention, Ocean glider data formats are based on NetCDF (Network Common Data Form). All of the scientific data are stored with appropriate quality control flags indicating the usability/validity of each data-entry. Although highly informational, NetCDF files can be quite daunting for those who are unfamiliar with the format, or lack the computing set-up to access the data.

By using the freely available GLIDERSCOPE software, all users will be able to read the NetCDF files, filter out the bad data and apply a variety of useful data graphical visualisation techniques to examine the data, e.g. using three/four-dimensional plots of water properties, interpolated contour charts, vertical profile plots, water properties comparison charts, etc. Users can easily choose and extract segments of data. Additionally, users can also export their data to text or NetCDF files for easy access in other applications.

* GLIDERSCOPE V7.1 (International) is now available *

New features include:

  • Ability to handle Glider NetCDF datafiles from international facilities.

Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders (ANFOG) data download from

Overseas data can be freely downloaded from the European Everyone’s Gliding Observatories (EGO)

and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)

(Please select the .nc format when you make your download. To explore/edit file contents, be sure to check out NetCDF Ninja!)

  • Version 7 calculates Light Attenuation Coefficients (Kd) and calculates the 1% photic depth level. Users can compare Kd of different frequencies of light as well as compare these with depth averaged CDOM, chlorophyll and backscatter coefficients.
  • Nitrates can be visualised  (e.g. selected StormBay missions).
  • Drop a 'virtual Niskin bottle' to instantly find out what the water properties are like anywhere in your cross-section.
  • Isolate a layer of water in your plot using your mouse! Instantly examine the TS-diagram of this layer or display the layer in various ways.
  • Zoom into the plots and tweak the colour scale automatically or using handy sliders.
  • Improved data export now allows depth averaged water velocities to be saved in netCDF files, and all scientific data types to be saved at once with the push of a button.
  • Time axes in plots are more dynamic, conveniently changing units from months to days to hours. You can also switch easily to view local times to get a feel for whether daylight drives certain ocean processes.
  • Gliderscope V7 Matlab APP is now backward compatible. No need to download different versions for different installations of Matlab.


GLIDERSCOPE is compatible with Macintosh as well as Windows computers and is freely available either as standalone software, or a handy Matlab app that users can install on their Matlab toolbar if they already have Matlab installed.

GLIDERSCOPE V7.1 (International)

Standalone Software Installation Package

for Windows PC: (667 Mb)

for Mac computer: (521 Mb)


Matlab toolbar App

(if you have Matlab installed)

for Windows PC:

Gliderscope.mlappinstall (2.4 Mb)

for Mac computer:

Gliderscope.mlappinstall (2.4 Mb)


Users Manual

Users_Manual_GLIDERSCOPEv7_1.pdf (3 Mb)


Old version - Gliderscope V6

Standalone Software Packages

Windows 64-bits platforms:

GliderscopeV6_3_Win.exe  (555.1 MB)

Mac platforms:   (513.1 MB)

V6 User's Manual:

Users Manual GLIDERSCOPEv6.pdf  (2.2 MB)

Sample data

SAMPLE DATA NetCDF file (31.2 MB)

Instruction Videos





Additional Information/Tutorial Files

Hanson, C., L.M. Woo, P.G. Thomson and C.B. Pattiaratchi (2016) Observing the ocean with gliders: Techniques for data visualization and analysis. Oceanography 30(2),

GLIDERSCOPE Tutorial Files (6 MB) for use with tutorial paper 'Observing the oceans with gliders: techniques for data visualisation and analysis'

Woo, M. and C. Pattiaratchi (2010) How the Capes current ends: an investigation of a west Australian coastal current using an autonomous ocean glider, Proceedings of the 15th Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas (PECS) conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 14-17 September 2010.


If you have any queries about GLIDERSCOPE (installation, files downloading, etc.), or feedback please do not hesitate to contact anfog-ecm(at)