The Mapes IDV collection

A self-updating, ever-improving IDV 'Plugin' maintained by Prof. Brian Mapes.
The collection's 'repository' of materials is at


1. You must download, click to install, and launch at least once The IDV (Integrated Data Viewer).

2. Download the two files 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 there too.

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 online*? See asterisk below.

Screencast introductions: 

1. Mapes IDV collection- Why you want it (5 minutes)

2. Mapes IDV collection- How to get it (4 minutes)

3. Mapes IDV collection- Learn to create your own displays (10 minutes)

4. Cases for Lackmann -Mapes-Tyle (LMT) textbook Lab Manual (5 minutes)

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 these directions:

The IDV (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 "plugin"). 

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 free support.)

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):
.unidata/idv/DefaultIDV/ 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.

(*Note: some 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 OK).

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 developers.
The IDV bundles actually live on, a link shortener to the Web interface of my RAMADDA "repository".

But also you will gain:

Brian Mapes

Initial: November 2013 (still at it: February 2017)

Credits and thanks: