The Mapes IDV collection
1. You must download, click to install, and launch at least
once The IDV
(Integrated Data Viewer).
2. Download the two files idv.properties
and mapes.rbi. (Right-click
to download these small text files)
3. Put them in the folder .unidata/idv/DefaultIDV/, under your
home directory. (Exact text contents and suffix
must be maintained)
4. Relaunch the IDV. The Mapes IDV collection is most obvious
as a Favorites folder in your Toolbar. Other resources will be
a. Windows may append .html to the above filenames during
download. Some browsers may not show their text correctly.
More troubleshooting is in the longer directions below.
b. Are you truly
Related seminar at NCAR: Visualizing
the weather-climate connection (powerpoint). (here is its 50
minute YouTube video).
Longer directions: To install the IDV and the plugin, follow
(Integrated Data Viewer) is a great tool, from a great
organization (Unidata, part of UCAR). It is even better when you
install this set of self-updating customizations (called a
Consider reading my user-oriented introduction powerpoint (6MB).
1. If you haven't already, download and install and
test-lauch The IDV.
The latest official Numbered Release is here,
or get the latest nightly build (with bug fixes since then) here.
You will be asked to register, so Unidata can know their users.
Launch The IDV (this will create directories needed for step 2).
Most likely The IDV will run perfectly for you the first time.
(If not, web-search Unidata IDV for more instructions or links to
2. Install the self-updating Mapes
IDV collection plugin:
Download these two files, and then put them in this folder
(which is in your home directory):
idv.properties and mapes.rbi (right-click to
download each one to the folder).
(Mac hints: (1) Right-click means control-click. (2)
Because of the leading dot in .unidata, that folder may be
hidden in Mac Finder.
If so, you can move the files there using mv on a command
line in a terminal.
Or in Mac-OS's Save dialog, you can hit Command-Shift-. to
toggle showing/hiding hidden names like .unidata.)
(Another way to get the plugin is to pass this option to the
runIDV startup script that the IDV launcher icon calls:
The disadvantage of this approach is that the runIDV launcher is
recreated in a new directory whenever you upgrade to
different-numbered IDV versions in the future, so you would have
to edit the startup script again in the new version).
3. Relaunch the IDV (while
online*) and the Mapes IDV collection plugin
should be present.
users have trouble because the RAMADDA communicates through
Internet port 8080, which is sometimes blocked on guest wi-fi
systems, or if a VPN is connected, or in other peculiar internet
connection situations where normal Web pages might still load
What features will you gain from the plugin?
Whatever I have put in the plugin at any given time!
Because it is referenced as a URL, the plugin will get better as I
learn more and share more.
Most obviously, you will see Favorite Bundles.
The Mapes IDV collection folder is mine, the other ("PSD bundles")
is from Don Murray at NOAA-PSD, one of the IDV's original
The IDV bundles actually live on http://bit.ly/Mapes_IDV,
a link shortener to the Web interface of my RAMADDA "repository".
But also you will gain:
- a RSMAS/ U. of Miami Catalog appears in the IDV's Data
Chooser - Catalogs line.
- Other resources include:
- .ncml aggregation files for the 20CV2 reanalysis data
covering 1871-2012, stored year by year, but at least with
all the variables in one virtual file.
- .ncml units fixers that add units attributes to the
otherwise-wonderful MERRA reanalysis.
- datasets hosted in Miami, and automatically served out via
Catalogued, OpenDAP protocols (thanks to easily-installed
- a Mapes folder of preferred color tables
(including some custom ones)
- a tab with menus of Mapes suggested display settings
(color schemes and ranges, contour settings, etc.) in
the Field Selector area
- Formulas/ Grid/ Mapes/ ...
- Basic math operations and fluid dynamics budget terms
(advection, scalar flux divergence, ...)
- Synoptic diagnostics (Q vectors, etc.)
- Calls to Climate Data Operators (CDO) for filtering, etc.,
if you have CDO installed
- Composites and time sampling operations
- Many more dreams in the pipeline... stay tuned!
Initial: November 2013 (still at it: February 2017)
Credits and thanks:
- The talented, devoted people of Unidata for their vision and
effort and service over time.
- Unidata's IDV team of developers and trainers who taught me
the IDV, and answer my many firstname.lastname@example.org requests:
- Yuan Ho, Julien Chastang, Sean Arms, Tom Yoksas.
- Don Murray and Jeff McWhirter, original IDV and RAMADDA
developers and RAMADDA-IDV interaction gurus
- for their original visions of functionality and generality
that make this level of customization possible
- for invaluable help in setting up the clever
self-updating, so that I can release this before it is
"perfect and complete" (which is never).
- RSMAS/UM for supporting my efforts, and providing the
electricity and bandwidth for the mighty weather.rsmas.miami.edu/repository
- A Unidata 2013 Equipment Grant for that machine, which hosts
this Collection and many of its underlying resources.