Re: Standard format for observations

Mike McCants (
Sun, 8 Feb 1998 17:51:32 -0600 (CST)

Hello George, Ian, Jay, Walter, et al.

Of course I use "fitelem" to generate new elements.

But the "fitelem" observation format is not at all appropriate
for any archival system of saving observations.  It is also not
appropriate for sending me observations of numerous different
objects since I did not specify that the object number or
designation must appear on each line.  And it makes a lot of
sense for anyone making a significant number of observations
to have a "station number" for his site and to put that on
every observation.

So I have simple programs to transform the observations from
the format I receive them in into "fitelem" format for my
purposes.  And I can fix that program to handle any reasonable
observation format in only a few minutes.  And I could certainly
provide copies of such a program in source or executable form
for anyone who has a need to transform the data.

Ian wrote:

>Certainly fitelem and elcor use different formats. I report observations

The version(s) of elcor that I make available accepts a format very
similar to the format for fitelem.  It accepts a "weight" after the
normal fitelem data.

>specificly in a format suggested by Mike McCants, and I would like to
>make life as easy as possible for those that make the time to do the

But if you were to start sending me a few dozen positional observations
every day or week, I would quickly ask you to change to a format that
had the object number or designation on each line since the fitelem
format does not.

>Some feedback from the "elset gurus" is needed here I think.

I hope this reply will clarify that I can accept anything reasonable.

Mike McCants