IDL code for handling VOTables

Mark Taylor m.b.taylor at bristol.ac.uk
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 http://www.star.bris.ac.uk/~mbt/topcat/ )
> 
> 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 uk.ac.starlink.table.TableCopy 
        -ifmt votable -ofmt fits in-table.xml

and

   java -classpath stil.jar uk.ac.starlink.table.TableCopy
        -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 http://www.starlink.ac.uk/stil/ (STIL is the tables library 
which underlies TOPCAT).

Mark

-- 
Mark Taylor    Starlink Programmer     Physics,  Bristol University, UK
m.b.taylor at bris.ac.uk +44-117-928-8776 http://www.star.bris.ac.uk/~mbt/



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