ADC Announces Its New Internet Services

Volume 11, Number 4, December 1995
By Gail Schneider and James Gass

To better serve its users, the Astronomical Data Center (ADC) has established a new Internet site hosting enhanced World Wide Web (WWW) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access to the ADC's archives. The new WWW home page is located at URL http://adc.gsfc.nasa.gov. The ADC FTP server is also available via the WWW at ftp://adc.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/adc. From the home page Web users can easily explore the ADC's new FTP site or query a data base of descriptions of the catalogs and journal tables.


Gail Schneider of the Astronomical Data Center (ADC) demonstrates ADC's new Internet services on the new ADC workstation.

Perhaps the biggest single improvement is that now the entire public data holdings of the ADC are retrievable from magnetic disk via anonymous FTP. This should be quicker and more convenient for users than the previously used WORM-based system. More than 760 astronomical catalogs and 550 journal tables are now retrievable on line via anonymous FTP. For direct FTP, access users can connect from Internet by entering ftp adc.gsfc.nasa.gov or 128.183.106.99, logging in as "anonymous" and giving their E-mail address as the password.

Once connected, users can move to the pub/adc/archives subdirectory, which is the root of the catalog and journal table archive directories. They will find a "key" file present at each level of the directory tree, which contains an index of each subdirectory.

All catalogs and journal tables except the "ReadMe" and other miscellaneous documentation files are stored in a UNIX compressed format. The "ReadMe" file should be read first. It normally contains the catalog and journal table identification, a summary of the files, a description of the data, and a description of the format and is used as the basis for a full-text search for the catalog or journal file. To allow such a search to be made, a skeleton "readme" file has been added to each catalog directory that lacks a standard "ReadMe" file. The skeleton files are incomplete; for example, they do not contain format tables. The user is advised to refer to the additional documentation where available. When copying the files via anonymous FTP, users should use the binary option and the decompression program "gunzip" on the copied files to obtain exact replicas of the original files. Any questions can be sent to help@adc.gsfc.nasa.gov.

This service replaces the ADC On-Line Information System running under the NSSDC On-Line Data and Information System (NODIS). It has several advantages over the ADC NODIS service. It provides convenient access to the ADC's public holdings, enabling searches for catalogs, browsing of the files, and instant file retrieval. The ADC NODIS service will remain operational for a brief transition period. Neither the journal tables nor many of the catalogs are available through NODIS.


This new workstation hosts ADC's new Internet site.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]