The human brain is amazing in that is can process text and discern meaning. Computers are getting better but they still have a long way to go. So when it comes to writing simple programs that can interpret files and easily extract data from one or more sensors of one or more types, having standardized formats are clutch.
The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) exists to develop, define and promote many of the data format standards that ship operators depend on to safely operate their vessels. Turns out oceanographers depend on them a lot too. To that end I’ve compiled a list of NMEA-defined standardized data strings for sensors commonly used in oceanographic research.
If you have an additional NMEA string you would like added please let me know in the comments.
I hope this helps,