I'm working on a new data product related to satellite atmospheric remote sensing. I'm writing an article on it for a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and the data will be publicly available. One very important aspect (;-) ) is, of course, the name of the data product.

Existing data products in my field have names such as PATMOS-X, CLAVR-X, MSPPS, MiRS, ISCCP, 2C-ICE, DARDAR, to name a few. It seems almost all choose acronyms, some pronounceable, some not.

From a user point of view, what makes a good name? I guess it should be easy to pronounce, easy to remember, and preferably be descriptive of the content. What else is in a good name, and how do I go about choosing one?

  • This question appears to be soliciting feedback for a product to sell open data.
    – Kermit
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


Unique. I can't believe we still have groups naming projects 'GAIA' (as if image processing software, satellites, and other existing projects isn't enough). But even satelites like 'TRACE' and 'SOHO' are problematic because they're common enough in English.

I'd also look to see if there are standard prefixes or suffixes in the discipline that are significant (eg, you gave two examples that ended in -X). If there are common acronyms for the given type of data you're releasing, you may want to follow the conventions in your field ... but you also have to be wary of it being too similar and someone thinking it's just a typo for some other product.


If you want to flag instantly to a potential end-user that the dataset is open, then it seems putting the word "Open" in the title is the way to go. This is somewhat subjective, but if in a list of search results I see a name such as OpenFlights, OpenWeather or OpenMap, then I'm clicking on it first.

If you're after a catchy name or acronym then, again, I'm sure most people will have different opinions. If SRS is commonly used to refer to Satellite Remote Sensing, then OpenSRS may be one option, otherwise you could try abbreviated keywords or combinations thereof (Atmos, Rem, Sens, and so on).

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