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1.0 What is McIDAS?


The Man computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) is a suite of applications for analyzing and displaying meteorological data for research and education. McIDAS has been in use and under continual development by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) since 1972. The Unidata McIDAS software (a superset of SSEC McIDAS) has been under development since 1985 and in distribution since 1988. The software can be used with conventional observational, satellite, and grid-point data. Unidata distributes a version of McIDAS (McIDAS-X) for a variety of platforms running Unix, Linux, and MacOS-X (see platform information).

Unidata McIDAS-X software can use data included in a data stream that is generated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center and subsidized by the National Science Foundation through the Unidata Program. This datastream has for years provided the only source of fully navigated satellite data generally accessible to the university community in near-realtime (this is changing, however, with the growing availability of GINI imagery in NOAAPORT). Unidata IDD Data Streams Containing Imagery presents information on the products currently available to Unidata IDD users including those in the Unidata-Wisconsin datastream.

Unidata's Internet Data Distribution (IDD) system provides access to an even greater range of data. Sites using the McIDAS-X software can make use of this data by installation of an add-on package of decoders called McIDAS-XCD. Unidata bundles McIDAS-XCD with its releases of McIDAS. McIDAS-XCD allows sites to decode all Family of Services/NOAAPORT and High-Resolution data service data for display with the McIDAS.


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