MATLAB supports many data formats and file types, such as NetCDF, HDF, and USGS Landsat 8. These common formats are the currency by which data is exchanged among research scientists, data facilities, and even code-hosting sites such as GitHub and Dropbox.
Before starting any project, you need to know the input data formats and select your target output format. In addition to supporting a wide range of geoscience-related formats, MATLAB supports many general-purpose data exchange formats and tools, such as CSV and web services. Alternatively, you can use the built-in MATLAB MAT file format.
MATLAB supports a variety of standard file formats, enabling you to read data from public data repositories, such as ones hosted by USGS, NASA, NCAR/UCAR, and IRIS, to name a few. You can also acquire data directly from the web, from hardware and from sensors, including from your mobile phone and the IoT.
Many data centers host data using common data formats that MATLAB supports. This means you can bring the data directly into MATLAB for analysis and visualization. A subset of available data and tools provided by geoscience-related data facilities include:
irisfetch.m, a tool that lets MATLAB users access the seismology data that IRIS warehouses.