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The MPC Users' Group (MUG) invites community feedback on any issues, concerns, or questions about the MPC.


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PDS Support

SBN PDS4 Data Reviewers: General Information

The PDS Peer Review is an essential part of the archiving process. The review presents the archive product to a set of users and asks them to verify that the data are, in fact, useful, well-formatted, and self-documenting. The reviewers can reject a data set they feel does not merit inclusion in the PDS archives, and can specify corrections and additions which must be made before a data set is considered acceptable. Representatives from the science discipline node and the PDS Engineering Node are charged with enforcing format and documentation standards, so that reviewers may concentrate on the scientific content, however reviewers may find it helpful to have at least some exposure to the PDS requirements beforehand.

For reference, the standards used for describing and storing data (PDS Standards Reference) address the details of the data set structure and hierarchy, data formats and descriptions. The basic structure of a data set and the most useful files to focus on for general information are detailed in How to Understand a PDS4 Data Set. The Common data file types page lists the file extensions you are likely to encounter in the data set directories and describes their significance.

What is expected of the reviewer?

Useful Tools

Many file types found in the SBN archives and review pages are common to the planetary community. For reference, we have included a listing of file type by extension which should include all file types that a user or reviewer would encounter. This list gives a brief description of the file type and/or definition of its acronym, the location in a data set volume where the file would most likely be found, and a link, if deemed necessary, to free, downloadable software that reads the data stored in the file.

PDS4 Viewer

A tool designed to visualize PDS data, using the information contained in the PDS4 labels as a guide to accessing the information.
Details and download.

ReadPDS for PDS4 (IDL)

ReadPDS for PDS4 is a set of IDL procedures for reading the PDS4 labels common to small bodies data sets. It reads the xml label to extract the metadata and then uses that to read in all of the data files described as a single structure. This package is intended primarily for end-users of PDS4 data. Be certain to download the PDS4 version.

ReadPDS for PDS4 (Python)

A Python package to read-in PDS4 data and meta data is available. It reads the xml label to extract the metadata and then uses that to read in all of the data files described.
Details and download.

Non-SBN Utilities

Here are other software packages that may be of use when trying to view and manipulate data files (images, spectra and tables). These utilities provide at least a basic GUI are available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems.