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[McIDAS #MOR-174854]: May I ask three questions about how to use the command AXFORM to generate multiple files from McIDAS .area data? Thanks a lot.

Hi Kun,

> Thank you very much for your answer.

No worries.  I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.  I am leaving
on travel on Tuesday, and there is much too much to do before then...

> Now, I have another question: I type the line below at the McIDAS-X 2006f
> command window, but the tip is: AXFORM: Invalid area number specified=.
> Why?
> AXFORM met5_8_2000_153_0000 FTYPE=ASC NAV=YES

AXFORM is an old, non-ADDE McIDAS application.  Because of this, it expects
that images will be in files with a rigid naming convention:

AREAnnnn  <-  'nnnn' is a 4-digit number that can range from 0001 to 9999

The online HELP for AXFORM indicates that the program will need the AREA file
number to be input by the user:

AXFORM - Generates multiple files from an area
   AXFORM sarea file <keywords>
   sarea | digital area number
   file | output file; maximum of 100 characters; specify as a file name
          or a fully qualified path (directory and file name); do not
          include an extension with the file name; see the Remarks

So, you will need to either rename your data file(s),
or create a link to them using a link name that conforms to the AREAnnnn

Note:  AREA files numbered in the range of 0060 - 1500 are routinely used
for images broadcast in the Unidata-Wisconsin IDD datastream, and the topography
images distributed with Unidata McIDAS are in the 90nn range.  For this reason
I suggest that you use the a number in the range of 2000 - 8999.

> this data was collected by a former student of my boss. It is Meteosat-5
> IR brightness data and cover the area of 72.5°E to 87.3°E and 20.1°N to
> 34.9°N. I checked the Sensor Source Numbers listed at the McIDAS websit,
> and find that Meteosat-5 corresponds to number 56.

> Is 56 the AREA NUMBER for it?

No.  If you create the symbolic link to your file using a name that satisfies
the old AREA file naming convention, then the AREA number will be the 4-digit
number I mentioned above.

For instance, try the following:

cd <directory where your image(s) is(are)>
ln -s met5_8_2000_153_0000 AREA2000

Next, create a McIDAS file REDIRECTion that tells McIDAS how to find
the file AREA2000:

REDIRECT ADD AREA2000 "<directory where your images are>

Finally, run the AXFORM command:


> In addition, if you don't mind, I would like to know if the procedure to
> generate multiple files from .area data is like this:
> 1) Transfer all .area data sets which I want to process to the directory of
>    /McIDAS2006/data

I have no idea what your /McIDAS2006/data directory is, so I would rather not
on it.

To better understand things, I think I should give a brief explanation of
how McIDAS locates data and ancillary data files:

McIDAS uses two facilities to locate data and ancillary data files:

- file REDIRECTions (setup using the McIDAS command REDIRECT)
- directories specified in MCPATH

File REDIRECTions are a pair of information that specifies where files whose
names match a regular experssion will be looked for and read/written.  For
instance, here are some REDIRECTion examples

AREA2000 /McIDAS2006/data
AREA2*   /McIDAS2006/data

The namespace of the files that will be affected is completely specified
in the first example:  AREA file AREA2000 will be read/written only in
the /McIDAS2006/data directory.

The second example specifies that any file shows name matches the regular
expression AREA2* (e.g., AREA2000, AREA2001, ..., AREA2999) will be read/written
in the directory /McIDAS2006/data.

MCPATH, on the other hand, is a colon-separated lists of directories that
McIDAS will search through when trying to read or write a data file.  Every
user's Unix/Linux environment is configured with a MCPATH definition before
s/he runs McIDAS.  For users that are not 'mcidas', the MCPATH is most


The user 'mcidas' MCPATH is most typically:


> 2) Use command AXFORM to perform the generation

My suggestion is to leave your data files where they are; create symbolic
links to them (one at a time); and run AXFORM using the link name.  You
would do this after creating a file REDIRECTion for the link name.

> Thanks again.

No worries.  Again I apologize for not having enough time to respond to
your inquiry sooner.


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Ticket Details
Ticket ID: MOR-174854
Department: Support McIDAS
Priority: Normal
Status: Closed

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