These disks are the basic archive of Magellan's scientific data for both research and public interest. They have been designed to be usable on all types of computers. The National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) is the principal distributor of the CD-ROM disks. The NSSDC CD-ROM Catalog is available on-line which lists all these CD-ROMs. NSSDC can also provide software to display the images on most computers.
The CDs have been produced in approximately the order in which their imagery was collected by the Magellan spacecraft. However, identifying the precise disk which is needed to view a specific feature or area can be difficult. NSSDC can also provide a simple Macintosh or PC software called the Magellan Venus Atlas, which tells the latitude and longitude of any named feature on Venus, and then shows the specific CD-ROMs and mosaic images which cover that area.
The images are stored in directories named by the latitude and longitude at which the mosaic is centered. Each directory contains a "browse" image, which shows the entire mosaic at reduced resolution, and 56 "tiles", which show the mosaic broken into smaller pieces of 7 rows by 8 columns. Each image consists of a pair of files, named *.img and *.lbl, the "image" and "label" files.
Each digital image is in VICAR format, the standard Jet Propulsion Laboratory format for digital imagery. VICAR stores individual pixels by row and column, with a single extra initial row describing the image in ASCII text. If you wish, you can read this first row (the "VICAR label") as text. You can also read as text the *.lbl file, which contains a complete description of the image file in a form which both you and your computer can understand. You can convert the imagery from VICAR into other formats (GIF, PICT, ...) for use with other software.
IBM-type personal computers need both a driver for the CD-ROM player and Microsoft's CD-ROM extensions for DOS. The driver is typically placed in the CONFIG.SYS file in your C:\ directory. The CD-ROM extensions are typically invoked through a batch file, either the AUTOEXEC.BAT file which runs as the computer starts, or a separate batch file run just before using the CD-ROM player. These two pieces of software use parts of the computer's memory, and may interfere with running other programs which use very large amounts of memory.
Macintosh computers need a set of CD-ROM files placed into their System folder in order to use the CD-ROM drive. After loading these files, the computer must be re-started, with the CD-ROM drive turned on before the computer itself. Since Macintosh CD-ROM drives are normally SCSI devices, it is important to avoid conflicts in the cabling, addressing, or termination with other SCSI devices connected to the computer.
Once you have the appropriate software installed, you can "open" the CD-ROM disk just as you would any other computer disk. On an IBM-type machine, you can change to the CD disk, change to a subdirectory, display the contents, or type a file. On a Macintosh, you can double-click on the CD icon to open the disk. CD-ROMs' particular strength is the amount of data they contain, rather than their speed. If you are going to work extensively with any file or image, it may be wise to copy it onto your hard disk first and use it there in order to speed up your work.
You might find it interesting that the Magellan CD-ROMs can actually be played in your audio CD player. Be sure to turn the volume down to minimum before you try this. The sound you hear will be a fairly loud buzz; it is the same data used to store the images for your computer, interpreted as though it were music.
Each disk contains a file which can act as an index of the named geologic features on Venus. This file can be loaded into a spreadsheet or database and used to locate features. (This function can also be performed using the special program from NSSDC described above.) Each disk also has a set of the accumulated "problem reports" for earlier disks.
IMDISP works with IBM-type personal computers with at least EGA display cards. Much better results are obtained with VGA displays, and still better with Super-VGA displays. IMDISP can be adjusted to work with a variety of different Super-VGA displays, as explained in its documentation. To see the up-to-date list of displays supported, type "help set" at the IMDISP prompt. If your display system is one of those specifically listed, you can type "set display..." (where ... represents one of the possible choices, such as ATI800) at IMDISP's prompt to configure the display, or enter the line "set imdisp=..." in your CONFIG.SYS file. If your Super-VGA display is not one of those listed and you wish to experiment, type "set disp ..." and observe whether the screen is readable, or stays blank. If it stays blank, type "set disp vga" (in the blind) and the display will return. Work your way through the list until you find one which works.
IMDISP will use very large amounts of expanded memory if it is available. This memory will be used to buffer the data read from the CD-ROM, so that subsequent manipulation of the image is much faster. However, the program will run in machines with only 640K of memory.
To start the program, type "imdisp". Change drives to the CD-ROM drive just as you would in DOS. That is, if you set up the CD-ROM to be drive "H", type "H:" at the IMDISP prompt. Then type "files". Use the display of directory and file names to move to the image which you wish to view. If you wish at first to see only the browse images, rather than the long list of tiles, type "file browse.*". For the best performance, rather than selecting the *.img file which you wish to view, select the corresponding *.lbl file. The label file gives IMDISP extra information about the image which allows it to work more effectively.
If you are viewing a browse image, you may use the cursor (controlled by either the arrow keys or a mouse) to mark a particular region, and then ask IMDISP to call up the higher-resolution "tile" of the area selected. Type "cursor", move the cursor until it is on the area which interests you, and then hit the "period" key. Then type "disp source" to bring up the high resolution image centered on the cursor.
IMDISP allows a wide range of image processing procedures, including zooming, changing the brightness and contrast, and coloring the image. The command "help" and the IMDISP documentation explain these capabilities. In addition, IMDISP can be commanded to "browse" through all of a set of images (including the entire disk), or to perform a set of commands repeatedly in order to cycle through a display of images. IMDISP can save an image which has been processed, either as a VICAR image or in the GIF format, if the file name chosen is *.gif. The GIF format can be displayed on a very wide range of computers, including many inexpensive types.
Several programs are available for the Macintosh to display the Magellan images. The newest and most flexible is "Image4PDS" (Image for Planetary Data System CD-ROMs). This is a modified version of "Image 1.41", which was developed by the National Institutes of Health. The modification allows the program to open the Magellan images by "opening" the *.lbl file corresponding to the image. Unmodified versions of Image have difficulty opening the CD-ROM files directly.
Place the Image4PDS program into a folder on your hard disk. The program is distributed in compressed form and needs to be de-compressed with STUFFIT before it can be run. If you are running under Multifinder, it is wise to allocate as much memory as possible to Image through its Information box. When you first open Image, you may wish to adjust the sizes of the Cut and Paste buffers, set them as the default, and then restart the program. Large buffers are necessary if you wish to extract part of the image into a new image. Small buffers allow you to open large images in a machine with limited memory.
Use the "Open" command (Command-O) to select the CD-ROM drive, the desired folder, and the desired image. (Select the *.lbl, not the *.img file.) You can use normal Macintosh commands to adjust the size of the image window, or move it on the screen. A selection of "tools" lets you scroll the image within the window, adjust its brightness and contrast, change the magnification, and color the image. You can have multiple images open simultaneously in separate windows. Image lets you save the file in a number of formats, including PICT, which can be used by many different Macintosh programs.
telnet: spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov (126.96.36.199)
modem: (205) 895-0028
ftp: ames.arc.nasa.gov (188.8.131.52) user: anonymous cd: pub/SPACE/MAGELLAN, VICAR, GIF, CDROM, CDROM2, SOFTWARE
ftp: wuarchive.wustl.edu (184.108.40.206) user: anonymous cd: /graphics/magellan
Planetary Data System, Geosciences Node Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory Washington University, Campus Box 1169 One Brookings Drive St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899 (314) 935-5493, Fax: (314) 935-7361 E-mail: WURST::MGNSO or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Washington University PDS node provides a direct and knowledgeable source of assistance in using Magellan data through a Magellan Data Products Support Office. The purpose of the Support Office is to provide users with information about and assistance in getting Magellan data. Standard and special data products are supported, including digital products, photoproducts, slides, videotapes, and NASA Public Information Office (PIO) products. The Support Office serves NASA-sponsored scientists, other researchers and educators, and the general public.
The Support Office is staffed by researchers experienced in working with Magellan data products. The primary contact is Dr. Edward Guinness. The Office can answer questions such as what data products exist, where they can be obtained and at what cost, and how to read digital data products. The Office can provide the information necessary to complete an NSSDC order form and will help users place an order.
In general, a user is referred to NSSDC when the Support Office is certain that NSSDC has the product in question. The Support Office gives the user the phone number and/or electronic mail address of NSSDC, and helps the user determine exactly what to request. For a non-standard product, or when the Support Office is not certain that NSSDC has a product, the Office tries to locate information about the product and then calls the user back. It then does whatever it can to help the user obtain the product.
NSSDC personnel will refer a user to the Magellan Data Products Support Office in cases where they cannot help the user and know the Support Office can. If NSSDC is not sure the Support Office has the answer, it will work directly with the Support Office to find the information, and then get back to the user.
The Support Office does not: