The MAP Data Centre status

Hans Hirter, Atmospheric Science ETH, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

Data gathered during the MAP field phase are or will be stored and available at the MAP Data Centre (MDC). All real-time data from the MAP Operation Centre (MOC) in Innsbruck, Austria, the Project Operation Centre Radar (POC) in Milano, Italy, the MAP Network Centre (MNC) located at MDC in Zurich, Switzerland, and the Co-ordination Centre Rhine-Valley (COC) in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, are now available at the MDC in Zurich.

MAP field phase real-time data

Where can you find the SOP real-time and forecast data at MDC? A detailed description of SOP real-time and forecast data is available at MDC under the address: . The forecaster front-end written in Javascript is still available. If you like to download series of images, you can use the MAP FTP-server.

Real-time data, forecast data, and experimental observations are retrievable online. Some original data, such as e.g. Eumetsat rapid scans in OpenMTP format, are available offline only.

An overview of the available date is shown in two tables, one for real-time and forecast data, another one for experimental observations. A green cell indicates 100% availability, yellow only ~80%, and red stands for no data available. At the bottom of each table there is an FTP column linking you directly to the FTP site of all SOP data at MDC. The direct FTP access is: , username: "anonymous", password: your email address. SOP data are stored in the directory fgop.

Tip: The information tables are available in PDF-format as well:

For a fast and perfect view of the HTML-Info tables, please use the MS Internet Explorer!

MAP field phase network

The setting up of the computer network for the MAP field phase was based on know-how available at the MAP Data Centre. In general the MAP network worked fine with some exceptions, of course. The Internet was quite stable as well. Figure 1 shows the complete network traffic at the MNC in Zurich. There were no major gaps during the SOP. The network backup over ISDN was needed only in a few special cases. The problems that arose with the MOC II were internally and not related to the MAP network nor the Internet. From personal experience with the MNC/MDC we know that only a long pre-phase spin-up operation guarantees successful operation from the actual start.

Figure 1. MAP Network Centre (upper panel) and MOC Forecast Office (lower panel) traffic analysis during the SOP.

The upper panel in Fig.1 shows the MNC network traffic during the SOP. The average input was 1.4 Gbytes/day and the average output 5.4 Gbytes/day. The maximum output was 10.7 Gbytes/day on 24 October 1999. Included in this traffic is the web and ftp traffic plus the database synchronisation. The lower panel in Fig 1 depicts the situation for the MOC Server in the Forecasting Office in Innsbruck.

MDC Archives of SOP

All data gathered during the MAP field phase are or will be stored at the MDC in Zurich. Data access will be through the MDC's web interface and by FTP. In general, all data will be available in `Internet-like' format. This means ASCII tables for surface, radiosonde, and similar data and GIF-images for radar, satellite images etc. (raw radar data, for example, will not be accessible online).

Characteristics of MDC Archive

The success of data ingestion into the MDC archive will be based on the following principles:

Send data by FTP

The anonymous FTP address of the MDC is ( To login use "anonymous" as username and your email address as password.


Accepted file formats are:

table based data


ASCII file with a short description at the beginning of the file or in an extra file. (To compress the ASCII files please use gzip or pkzip.)


Microsoft Excel versions 3 to 8 are accepted

image based data


All images in the MAP database are stored in "GIF format" (it is a common and compressed format)

If you have data in another format, please contact the MDC before you send the data.
A detailed description of MDC archive formats is available at MDC under the address:  /map-doc/images/DIformat.htm

MAP Data Centre - April '05 - MAP WebMaster