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PDS3 vs PDS4

NASA PDS is transitioning its archive structure and formatting from PDS3 to an XML-based version called PDS4. ReadPDS was originally developed for PDS3 data structures; a new edition has been made available for PDS4. We currently maintain both editions of readPDS.

ReadPDS (for PDS4) and are top level IDL functions for reading in PDS version 4 metadata in xml format. They will parse an xml metadata file into IDL and then use that information to read in all of the data files described. The output of READ_PDS is a single structure containing all of the data. BROWSE_PDS is GUI based and allows one to click around in the data (presenting plots or greyscale images) or in the metadata tree and then output an arbitrary branch of the metadata tree or the data. In addition there is which transforms generic xml files into an IDL Structures and which (for IDL version 8) transforms xml into IDL Ordered Hashes. The package containing these and related utility functions is at IDL help for this set of functions/procedures is found at In case of any problems, please contact .

ReadPDS (for PDS3)

ReadPDS is a set of IDL procedures for reading the PDS labels common to small bodies data sets. The latest release is version 4.7. This package is intended primarily for end-users of SBN data.
Starting with Version 4.2, ReadPDS requires IDL version 6.0 or later. The previous version of the read procedures will remain available with minimal support for a while.
An examples directory is included with the distribution. It can be downloaded separately or as part of the complete package.