Menu: Skip within this page



MPC Home

MPC Annex


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


Please provide feedback on the SBN website.

PDS Support

PDS3 vs PDS4

NASA PDS is transitioning its archive structure and formatting from PDS3 to an XML-based version called PDS4. ReadPDS was originally developed for PDS3 data structures; a new edition has been made available for PDS4. We currently maintain both editions of readPDS.

ReadPDS (for PDS4)

IDL version and are top level IDL functions for reading in PDS version 4 data. They parse an xml metadata file into an IDL Structure and then use that information to read the described data files. READ_PDS returns a single structure containing all of the data and optionally outputs the metadata. BROWSE_PDS is a graphical interface that allows one to navigate around, using your mouse, in the data (presenting plots or greyscale images) or in the metadata tree and then output an arbitrary branch of the metadata or data trees. In addition, transforms generic xml files into an IDL Structures and (for IDL version 8) transforms xml into IDL Ordered Hashes. The most recent code can be downloaded from our GitHub Repository. Use the "Download Zip" button to retrieve all of the IDL code. Documentation is available online and in the repository. In case of any problems, please contact .

Python version

A Python package to read-in PDS4 data and meta data is available. An easy to use graphical interface to display the data directly from Python is also available, as is a standalone version. Follow the provided links for the latest version and documentation. In case of any problems, please contact .

ReadPDS (for PDS3)

ReadPDS is a set of IDL procedures for reading the PDS labels common to small bodies data sets. The latest release is version 4.10. This package is intended primarily for end-users of SBN data.
Starting with Version 4.2, ReadPDS requires IDL version 6.0 or later. The previous version of the read procedures will remain available with minimal support for a while.
An examples directory is included with the distribution. It can be downloaded separately or as part of the complete package.