standard_names: a Python library for working with CSDMS Standard Names

The CSDMS Standard Names provide a comprehensive set of naming rules and patterns that are not specific to any particular modeling domain. They were also designed to have many other nice features such as parsability and natural alphabetical grouping. CSDMS Standard Names always consist of an object part and a quantity/attribute part and the quantity part may also have an operation prefix which can consist of multiple operations ([CsdmsCsn], [Peckham2014]).

standard_names is a Python package to define, query, operatate, and manipulate CSDMS Standard Names. It is distributed with a comprehensive list of the currently defined Standard Names [StandardNamesRegistry].

The standard_names package consists of two basic classes:

The standard_names package has a complete set up unit tests that are continually tested on Mac, Linux, and Windows. It is distributed both as source code [StandardNamesGitHub] and as Anaconda packages from Anaconda Cloud.


Install the standard_names package:

$ conda install standard_names -c csdms

Import the standard_names package:

>>> import standard_names as csn

Create a standard name from a string.

>>> name = csn.StandardName('air__temperature')
>>> name.object, name.quantity
('air', 'temperature')

Get a registry of the currently defined standard names.

>>> registry = csn.NamesRegistry()
>>> len(registry)
>>> 'air__temperature' in registry

User Guide



Extended abstract from IEMSS 2014.

Peckham, S. D, 2014. The CSDMS Standard Names: Cross-Domain Naming Conventions for Describing Process Models, Data Sets and Their Associated Variables, 7th International Conference on Environmental Modeling and Software,, International Environmental Modelling and Software Society.


Detailed description of CSDMS Standard Names


The standard_names source code on GitHub.


The current Standard Names Registry on GitHub.


CF Standard Names for ocean and atmosphere modeling.

Indices and tables