5

The Jet Propulsion Lab Data Dictionary which describes planetary data is written in some obsure format, and I'd like to know if there is an easy way to parse it.

https://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/tools/dictionary.shtml

Below is an example of the output:

OBJECT = GENERIC_OBJECT_DEFINITION
  NAME = BAND_BIN
  STATUS_TYPE = APPROVED
  DESCRIPTION = "
     The BAND_BIN group provides a mechanism for grouping keywords that
     describe the properties of each 'bin' along a spectral axis.  It is
     primarily designed for use within the SPECTRAL_QUBE object."
  REQUIRED_ELEMENT_SET = {
     BAND_BIN_CENTER,
     BAND_BIN_UNIT,
     BAND_BIN_WIDTH,
     BANDS}
  OPTIONAL_ELEMENT_SET = {
     BAND_BIN_BAND_NUMBER,
     BAND_BIN_BASE,
     BAND_BIN_DETECTOR,
     BAND_BIN_FILTER_NUMBER,
     BAND_BIN_GRATING_POSITION,
     BAND_BIN_MULTIPLIER,
     BAND_BIN_ORIGINAL_BAND,
     BAND_BIN_STANDARD_DEVIATION}
OBJECT_TYPE = GENERIC_GROUP
END_OBJECT = GENERIC_OBJECT_DEFINITION
END 

As you can see it is certainly not JSON, XML, HTML, Markup/Markdown, etc... which rules out most plaintext data formats. Any tips would be helpful.

4

That is definitely not a common/standard data format (at least that I've ever seen). You'll probably have to write your own parser. I found a GitHub project called Asteroid-Scraper that claims to be a set of Python scripts for working with JPL PDS data; could be useful?

  • That looks close, but these files hold the metadata for the columns, not the actual columns for the data. But thanks for the pointer. – user846 Oct 27 '16 at 20:17

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