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HDF5 datasets organize and contain the “raw” data values. A dataset consists of metadata that describes the data, in addition to the data itself:       

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In the picture above, the data is stored as a three dimensional dataset of size 4 x 5 x 6 with an integer datatype. It contains attributes, Time and Pressure, and the dataset is chunked and compressed.

Datatypes, dataspaces, properties and (optional) attributes are HDF5 objects that describe a dataset. The datatype describes the individual data elements.