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[McIDAS #CXU-312216]: how to plot downloaded data

Hi Manus,

> I am sorry to ask such a simple question, but I am taking a course in a
> remote sensing class; though I do not come from a technical background.  I
> downloaded data from: ftp://amsu.cira.colostate.edu/N15/05163 via
> http://amsu.cira.colostate.edu/ and I do not know how to plot this data
> using Unidata McIDAS-X.

A quick check of the CSU/CIRA website you reference shows that the images you
are interested in are from NOAA-15/-16/-17 and are in McIDAS AREA format:

  AMSU swath data are availble by anonymous ftp:

      NOAA 15   NOAA 16         NOAA 17

  The data are single-orbit McIDAS areas. (Click here for a format 
description.) The file names have the format


  where starttime and endtime have the format YYDDDHHMMSS:

> When I open the McIDAS-X software, there is a GUI
> and a command window, but I do not know how I can load my data to plot.  I
> read a help page that I found on:
> http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/software/mcidas/2005/users_guide/toc.html but
> this seems to assume that the data is somehow already 'loaded.'

First, you should be looking at the Users Guide for v2006.

> Please let me know where I am thinking of this wrong.

The answer to your question is a bit longer than you might think since it 
the need to know how to:

1) create an ADDE dataset in McIDAS for the image(s) you download
2) an understanding of to run the McIDAS IMGDISP command
3) an understanding of image enhancement tables to colorize the images

All three of these topics are covered in the Unidata McIDAS-X Learning Guide:


and the Unidata McIDAS-X Training Workshop:


These two references are the best place to learn about running the IMGDISP
command and use of the EU command to colorize images.  They are also the
best place to learn about creating an ADDE dataset, but I can give you a
very quick HOWTO here:

- first, download the image(s) that you want to use to an isolated directory
  where you have write permission.  To make the discussion simple, let's assume
  that this is your McIDAS working directory and that your HOME directory is 
  In this scenario, the directory in question will be /home/user/mcidas/data

- next, from the McIDAS-X Text and Command Window, run the following command to
  create a dataset from the image(s) you downloaded:

DSSERVE ADD CIRA/AMSU AREA DIRFILE=/home/user/mcidas/data/*AMSUA.* "AMSU images 
from CIRA

- next, verify that you created the dataset by listing out the images using the 


If everything went correctly, you should get a listing of the image(s) in your 
created dataset.

Next (assuming that everything was correct up to this point), display one of the


This should work, but I would suspect that the colorization of the image would 
not be what you
might expect.

The other thing that you could do is to "point" at the ADDE server on the 
CSU/CIRA server.
This is outlined in the 'Mapped Data' link off of the CIRA website you 
referenced.  Once
you hae clicked on the Mapped Data link, you will see text that looks like:

Mapped Data
Mapped AMSU data are availble two ways:

    * with ADDE (a McIDAS data transfer facility)
    * by ftp 

When you click on the ADDE link, you will go to a page that begins with:

ADDE Mapped Data
Mapped AMSU data are availble with ADDE (a McIDAS data transfer facility) as 
Set up your McIDAS or RAMSDIS. Type


If this command doesn't work, either you don't have ADDE set up correctly or 
is a firewall problem. You need to do this step only once.

Work through the directions on this page.  In particular, you should take a look
at and possibly download enhancements referenced in:

Apply an enhancement table. For product n, use enhancement AMSUn.ET


(Click here for ftp access to these files.)

Once your McIDAS session is pointed at the CSU/CIRA ADDE server, you can tell 
McIDAS GUI (if it is the SSEC GUI) to rebuild its server table.  Once this is 
your session should be able to access and display the images available through 

> Thank you so much for your help,

No worries.


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Ticket Details
Ticket ID: CXU-312216
Department: Support McIDAS
Priority: Normal
Status: Closed

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