Card File Import

Option accessed from the Import menu choice of the Data Manipulation form.

Select the text file with the data, and then a dBase table describing the data format.  

This has not been used in a while.  You might do just as well to import this into Excel and create a CSV file there, and then import that.  This method should be used when:

  1. The data file is too big for Excel (the example below), or too big for the CSV file import.  This is not likely with the recent changes to the size of files Excel can handle.

  2. You have a lot of data files with the same format to import.

The Climatological Database for the World's Oceans 1750-1850 provides an example of importing a text file that looks like a card file listing.

Data arranged in columns, with no decimal points.

This data could be imported into Excel and turned into a dBase table, with the following caveats:

  • If you had multiple files, or wanted to perform the operation again, it could become tedious.  You would have to add field labels, and in this case deal with the decimal places which are missing.
  • Excel has a limit to the number of records, and in this case there are too many.
Create a dBase table with the structure of the data.  You will have to find the metadata for the file you are importing.  You can use Excel, or a similar program.  In this case there is an HTML file describing the format of the data set, which can be imported and modified in Excel. 

You need 6 columns/fields, named as in the example.

  • VARIABLE will be the field names in the data base.
  • START is the first column for the data.
  • END is the last column for the data.
  • FORMAT describes the coding of the data, in the spirit of the old Fortran.
  • TYPE should the "Float", "Integer", or "String"
  • Decimals will put an explicit decimal point  into the values.

Last revised 12/24/2009