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15.4 Customizing Program Displays
McIDAS provides a mechanism for configuration of displays through a hierarchical set of context files. The McIDAS distribution provides core configuration files (files whose names end in .CORE) that define sets of configurations for each command that is configurable in this manner. The core context files get installed in the ~mcidas/data directory. Settings defined in core context files can be overwridden and augmented on a per-site basis by creation of an appropriate site context file (which will have a suffix of .SITE) also in the ~mcidas/data directory. Each user can, in turn, override and augment the settings in the core and site configuration files by creating a user context file in his/her $MCDATA directory.

The following is a list of McIDAS applications that can be configured by context files:

Application Context file names
MAP MAP.(CORE|SITE|USER)
IMGDISP IMGDISP.(CORE|SITE|USER)
SFCPLOT SFCPLOT.(CORE|SITE|USER)
SFCCON SFCCON.(CORE|SITE|USER)
RAOBPLOT RAOBPLOT.(CORE|SITE|USER)
RAOBCON RAOBCON.(CORE|SITE|USER)
GEO GEO.(CORE|SITE|USER), GEODATA.(CORE|SITE|USER)
LEO LEO.(CORE|SITE|USER), LEODATA.(CORE|SITE|USER)
UACROSS UACROSS.(CORE|SITE|USER)

 


 

Customizing Basemaps

The core context file for the McIDAS MAP command is MAP.CORE. Entries in MAP.CORE provide definitions for basemaps which can be used by reference to their name. For instance, the MAP.CORE definition for a map named EXAMPLE1 looks like:

# *** The EXAMPLE1 map definition uses multiple OUTLINEFILE names to create
#     a map of Europe.  The resulting map display will ba a composite of the
#     two files. The default PROJECTION is set to Lambert Conformal (CONF)
#     and the map color (MCOLOR=) will be 4 for first map and -4 (dashed)
#     for the second map. The graphic width (WIDTH=) will be 2 for the first
#     map and 1 for the second map.  Green asterisks of size 12 will be drawn
#     as lat/lon reference marks at 5 degree intervals.

EXAMPLE1  OUTLINEFILE=   OUTLSUPW OUTLHPOL \
          PROJECTION=    CONF \
          MCOLOR=        4 -4 \
          WIDTH=         2  1 \
          MERCATOR=      'LAT=20.0 80.0 LON=-60.0 30.0' \
          LAMB_CONF_SC=  'LAT=30.0 60.0 LON=-35.0 40.0 SLAT=30 50 SLON=-15.0' \
          POLAR_STEREO=  'LAT=30.0 60.0 LON=-35.0 40.0 SLAT=60 60 SLON=-15.0' \
          LLMARK=        YES 5 5 7 9 +

Unidata added several definitions to the core set provided by SSEC. For example, the following defines a the map outlines for the African continent including political boundaries:

AFRICA  OUTLINEFILE=  OUTLHRES OUTLHPOL \
        MERCATOR=     'LAT=-36 40 LON=-72 42' \
        PROJECTION=   MERC

Example: Create your own version of an African basemap that has different colored lines for political boundaries, and plotting current synoptic surface temperatures on top of it:

  1. Create the file MAP.USER in your $MCDATA directory and copy the definitions for the Africa map defined above into to.
  2. Add the MCOLOR specifier to set the colors of the continental and political boundaries:

    AFRICA  OUTLINEFILE=  OUTLHRES OUTLHPOL \
            MCOLOR=        2 -4 \
            MERCATOR=     'LAT=-36 40 LON=-72 42' \
            PROJECTION=   MERC
    

  3. Plot the latest synoptic temperatures over this new map:

    SF 1
    ERASE
    SFCPLOT T AFRICA DAT=RTPTSRC/SYNOPTIC
    

 


 

Customizing Image Displays

The context file IMGDISP.CORE is used to customize displays of images and associated plots. For instance, the following defintion in IMGDISP.CORE will be used to create a tailored display of NEXRAD Level III base reflectivity for the Milwuakee, WI NEXRAD:

MKX_N0R    DATASET=RTNEXRAD/N0R EU=BREF ID=MKX \
           REFRESH='BAR (IMA) GRA=(GRA); \
           EU MAKE 1 1 55 55 75 75 85 85 (IMA) (IMA); \
           MAP X -8 DASH=1 X 4 COUNTY=ALL GRA=(GRA) IMA=(IMA); \
           MAP VH 7 GRA=(GRA) IMA=(IMA); \
           STNPLOT TYPE=FOUS COLOR=7 FONT=HELMO GRA=(GRA) NAV=(IMA); \
           FRMLABEL LEV=232 2 IMA=(IMA) \
           "(ID) RADAR - BASE REFLECTIVITY TILT 1 AT (HHMM) ON (DAY)'

Use this definition as the basis for a display of the Denver, CO radar (ID=FTG) and include range rings on the display at every 50 km at distances from the radar to 250 km:

  1. Create the file IMGDISP.USER in your $MCDATA directory and copy the definitions for MKX_N0R above into it.
  2. Add centering of the display at the radar site.
  3. Add plotting of range rings around the radar site

    MKX_N0R    DATASET=RTNEXRAD/N0R EU=BREF ID=MKX STATION=MKX \
               REFRESH='BAR (IMA) GRA=(GRA); \
               EU MAKE 1 1 55 55 75 75 85 85 (IMA) (IMA); \
               MAP X -8 DASH=1 X 4 COUNTY=ALL GRA=(GRA) IMA=(IMA); \
               MAP VH 7 GRA=(GRA) IMA=(IMA); \
               PC C;CIRCLE RADIUS=50-250B50 LAT=CUR UNIT=KM COL=-3; \
               STNPLOT TYPE=FOUS COLOR=7 FONT=HELMO GRA=(GRA) NAV=(IMA); \
               FRMLABEL LEV=232 2 IMA=(IMA) \
               "(ID) RADAR - BASE REFLECTIVITY TILT 1 AT (HHMM) ON (DAY)'
    

  4. Plot the most recent base reflectivity radar product for Denver:

    SF 2
    ERASE
    IMGDISP MKX_N0R ID=FTG STA=FTG
    

 


 

Customizing Surface Plots

The context file SFCPLOT.CORE is used to customize displays of surface data. For instance, the following defintion in SFCPLOT.CORE is used to create a station model display of surface data:

PLOT   UNIT=AMERICAN METRIC \
       AMERICAN='F F X MB KTS' METRIC='C C X MB KTS' \
       COLOR='2 2 3 3 4 3 2' \
       FORMAT='I3 I3 X K3 FLAG X I1' \
       LSIZE='6 6 6 6 9 5 6' \
       MULTIPLY='1 1 1 10' \
       OFFSET='-8 -12 8 -12 X -20 -8 5 X X 8 5 X 14' \
       LOC=+ \
       TITLE=X 3 \
       FONT=' '\
       ISFC='T TD WX1 PSL WIND ID CIGC' \
       SVCA='T TD WX1 PSL WIND ID CCL' \
       SYN= na \
       ISHP=na

Use this definition, but change the plot size of temperature values and make the wind barbs 15 units in length:

  1. Create the file SFCPLOT.USER in your $MCDATA directory and copy the definitions for PLOT above into it.
  2. Change the size of temperature to 8 pixels
  3. Change the length/size of the windo barb to 15 pixels

    PLOT   UNIT=AMERICAN METRIC \
           AMERICAN='F F X MB KTS' METRIC='C C X MB KTS' \
           COLOR='2 2 3 3 4 3 2' \
           FORMAT='I3 I3 X K3 FLAG X I1' \
           LSIZE='8 6 6 6 15 5 6' \
           MULTIPLY='1 1 1 10' \
           OFFSET='-8 -12 8 -12 X -20 -8 5 X X 8 5 X 14' \
           LOC=+ \
           TITLE=X 3 \
           FONT=' '\
           ISFC='T TD WX1 PSL WIND ID CIGC' \
           SVCA='T TD WX1 PSL WIND ID CCL' \
           SYN= na \
           ISHP=na
    

  4. Plot the most recent station model plots over Colorado:

    SF 3
    ERASE
    SFCPLOT PLOT CO
    

    Comment: even though COLOR= is specified in the PLOT definition, the default for compound parameter plots is to plot every piece in the same color. This can be overridden on the command line, however:

    SF 3
    ERASE
    SFCPLOT PLOT CO COL=4 2 3 1 7 5
    

 


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