IDL code for handling VOTables

Mark Taylor m.b.taylor at
Thu Jan 27 06:21:00 PST 2005

On Thu, 27 Jan 2005, Clive Page wrote:

> One possibility would be to use the Starlink package called TOPCAT,
> written by Mark Taylor (see )
> The main interface to TOPCAT is a GUI, but it includes command-line
> utilities which can convert between different table formats.  So you could
> use TOPCAT to convert a VOTable to FITS table, and then handle that in
> IDL, and even do the reverse conversion on output.

Thanks for the advert Clive!  Yes this would work - you'd need to
install and use Java but not write it or muck about with your IDL
installation.  Assuming that IDL allows you to effectively execute 
a shell command, you'd just need to execute something like

   java -classpath stil.jar 
        -ifmt votable -ofmt fits in-table.xml


   java -classpath stil.jar
        -ifmt fits -ofmt votable out-table.fits

for FITS->VOTable and VOTable->FITS conversions respectively.
If you'd rather use CSV or some other known table format, that's 
easy too.

See (STIL is the tables library 
which underlies TOPCAT).


Mark Taylor    Starlink Programmer     Physics,  Bristol University, UK
m.b.taylor at +44-117-928-8776

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