Instruments - John Graybeal's PPT presentation (PDF version)

A synthesis spreadsheet is provided HERE.

No. of Instruments 92 1034
Coding Schema
  • 2-letter codes
  • Includes UNSPECIFIED
  • The BODC code list put up as a candidate has many faults and is in the process of being replaced by the SeaDataNet L05 vocabulary, partly published but still very much under development and strongly influenced by the MMI devices ontology project. [R. Lowry]
  • Almost completely concerned with satellite sensors
  • 8-letter codes in many cases
  • In other cases, the code is lacking and the full name of the sensor is the code
Content Governance Internal/informal

Primary Standards for Consideration

  1. BODC - From

Additional Resources

  1. GCMD - A few codes missing; assume they are identical to names - From
  2. BODC Instruments List - List of instruments used by the British Oceanographic Data Centre -
  3. ISDM Instruments List - Integrated Science Data Management (ISDM, a branch of Canada's Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans) codes for instruments -
  4. SIO/GDC Vocabulary Terms - A list of terms for platforms and instruments.-
  5. SSDS Sensor Types - Sensor categories used for MBARI's Shore Side Data System -
  6. U.S. Globec Instrument Names - List of Instrument names from U.S. Globec Data Thesaurus -
  7. WMO Codes for Instruments and Methods on Ships - Document containing the WMO codes for instruments on ships.-
  8. WMO Codes for Temperature Sensors - WMO codes for temperature sensing devices. -


  1. NOTE: The GRIB and BUFR instrument codes (See PARAMETERS) are probably also relevant here, but not central until the ocean and meteorological communities reach general agreements on parameters in general.
  2. MMI Sensors - From ; The MMI Sensors list cited (can be found in browser-readable form at is not a maintained document; it resulted from a workshop and is not an ongoing activity. The ongoing activity is an MMI ontology for devices; see for details. It is in the early stages. A fairly complete list of sensors vocabularies is at


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