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ISOD Toolbox version 1.5

This release includes some new resources. To assure proper operation, all internet links have been checked and modified when the URLs or the products have changed (such as naming conventions, map dimensions, server addresses, etc.). The ISOD Toolbox User Manual Version 1.4 is still valid, no new user manual has been prepared.


In the XML version 1.5 of the ISOD toolbox, a number of additional routines have been added, such as the dekadal processing of CHIRPS rainfall data, TAMSAT daily rainfall, GFS thematic forecasts, SASSCAL station weather data and changed STAR import routines. Some details are presented below.

  • For CHIRPS rainfall data Africa, see: ftp://chg‐‐2.0/README_CHIRPS.txt
    • Data from: ftp://chg‐ Unit: total daily precipitation (mm), africa_daily. Version 2.0 released 2015.02.12, data available from 1981 onwards, till end of 2 months before current. Resolution: 0.05 x 0.05 degree: africa_p05 directory. Coverage: 40.0N ‐‐ 40.0S Latitude,  20.0W-‐ 55.0E Longitude,  1500 samples (west ‐ east direction),  1600 lines (north ‐ south direction).
  • For TAMSAT Daily Precipitation: Spatial and temporal coverage: as for the decadal product, only Africa is covered; from 1983 till now (and NRT). Temporal resolution: daily. Spatial resolution: as for the resolution: as for the decadal product, 0.0375 at the equator. Delivery time: Daily files are released every 10 days at the same time as the 10‐daily cumulative rainfall estimates. Download is now from the new TAMSAT site:
  • For STAR, all import routines have been changed:
    • 16 km AVHRR‐VHP is a re‐processed Vegetation Health data set derived from AVHRR GAC data.
    • It was processed by the newly developed operational VHP system. The new VHP system was improved from GVI‐x VH system and some changes/improvements were made to meet the operation requirements and improve data quality. It can process GAC data from NOAA‐19, as well as FRAC data from METOP A and METOP‐B. In the future, it will produce vegetation health products from VIIRS on NPP satellite. The VHP system is running operationally at NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations (OSPO) and providing official VHP products. This web site provides recent VH data as a back up/alternative data source. VHP products posted on this VH web site should be consistent with those released by OSPO. GVI‐x is replaced by AVHRR‐VHP dataset. (
    • There are two new routines, star_sm.bat and star.vh.bat. They expect input yyyywww (ww=weeknumber, 3 digits, 001‐052)
  • Added the SASSCAL Weathernet link under "in‐situ": Station data is available from a number of Southern African countries (Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia) and a “Vessel Tracking” site.
  • Added the decadal vegetation indices for Africa (eMODIS) from JRC:
  • Added routines for GFS thematic forecasts, animations of rainfall and 850 Mb forecasts (till 144 hrs/6 days) under "web mapping service".
  • Added the “GFS 10 day Rainfall forecast” under "Gauge – Satellite derived Rainfall Data". It retrieves the accumulated GFS daily forecasts up to 10 days from present. Data is available from 01092016. Use is made of the 00:00 UTC forecast.

ISOD Toolbox version 1.4

This release contains some new resources. To ensure proper operation, all internet links have been checked and modified if the URLs or the products have changed. Please note that this version has new license and readme files.


In the XML version 1.4 of the ISOD toolbox a number of additional routines are added, such as the import and radiometric calibration of LANDSAT 8, partial import of large GEOTIF and SHAPE files, NOAA STAR Vegetation products (time series), CHIRPS global rainfall, POWER and CPC Global Forecasting System.

Landsat 8 product from USGS:

  • Geotif import, imported as UInt32
  • Radiometric calibration implemented:
    • DN to Radiance
    • Radiance to Reflectance, corrected for sun angle
    • Radiance to Temperature, for bands 10 and 11
  • Using the parameters from the header file (*MTL_txt)
  • PDF document is included describing the procedure

Partial import of large GEOTIF and SHAPE files, using GDAL_Translate and OGR2OGR:

  • Using gdalinfo and ogrinfo to obtain map extent
  • Subsequent import of TIF file based on user defined map extent
  • Import of partial SHAPE file using the user defined map extent to clip the output vector file. The import is only possible if the map layer name is identical to the shape file name!

For both routines use is made of powershell based sub menu’s. The ps1 files are situated in the respective \toolbox_startscript sub directories (here \Landsat8 and \shp_tif_import).


  • Added routine to visualize the latest NOAA CPC Forecasts from the Global Forecasting System (GFS) under the Web Mapping Services.
  • Added routine to retrieve and process CHIRPS pentad and monthly rainfall.
  • Added routine to retrieve and process JRC – MARS ECMWF based meteorological data: rainfall, temperatures, ETO and Radiation.
  • Added routine to retrieve and process time series of NOAA STAR Vegetation products, like Smoothed NDVI, Vegetation Condition Index, Smoothed Brightness Temperature, Vegetation Health Index as well as Climatology for the NDVI and Brightness Temperature.
  • Added link to Climatology Resource for AgroClimatology (POWER), under Web Mapping Services

Some routines have been adapted to reflect appropriate import due to changes in the data provision, such as:

  • GWADI rainfall: new server address;
  • CMORPH 8 km 30 minutes and 0.25 degrees 3 hourly and daily global rainfall. Now use is made of the Version 1.0 bias corrected and gauge‐satellite blended precipitation product;
  • FEWS‐PET: new routines for import of the daily (and the monthly) PET after 30 March 2014, as the new PET products do not require a byte swap anymore;
  • Added meta data and legend to the MPE and RFS visualization (under Web Mapping Services).

ISOD Toolbox 1.3

Some new resources have been added to this release. To assure proper operation, all internet links have been checked and modified if the URL’s or the products have changed.


  • A number of additional routines have been added:
    • MOD16 ET and PET products
    • Soil Water Index from the Copernicus Global Land Service
    • Geotif import for Landsat-8 images
    • retrieval of online maps from Google and Virtual Earth.
  • The TAMSAT climatology has also been modified to represent the 30 years climatology currently provided.

ISOD Toolbox 1.2

The ISOD toolbox XML version 1.2 menu structure has been modified to reflect changes due to the reprocessing of the CMORPH and TRMM rainfall data. In addition, some new resources have been added. All internet links have been checked and modified when these have changed to assure proper operation.


  • The import routines of the CMORPH and TRMM 3B42 have been adapted to incorporate the changes due to reprocessing of the rainfall estimates. The TRMM extraction routine uses a small Java based utility; this requires installation of JAVA RTE.
  • Additional routines display Julian Day tables for normal and leap years, 3 and 6 hourly precipitation estimates from the GWADI server, GLDAS‐Noah model data (28 parameters) for 3 hour intervals on a daily basis and online rolling archive of AMESD‐SADC products (these routines have been developed by Masego Rachel Nkepu, BDMS‐Botswana).

ISOD Toolbox 1.1

The ISOD Toolbox 1.1 menu structure has been modified substantially to accommodate a number of new data retrieval – import routines. The Web Mapping Services now focus on retrieval of data sets that are not imported into an ILWIS data format. The data is visualized using IrfanView of Panoply. All other routines extract multi‐temporal data, which is subsequently transformed into an ILWIS data format for further analysis. In addition, all routines first run a check to see if the data is available from the archives. If this is not the case, the user is informed about the missing data and can abort the import procedure. The Installation and User Guide has also been updated to reflect the changes incorporated.


In the XML version 1.1 of the ISOD toolbox various changes have been implemented. The most important are:

  • Menu modification: The web mapping services now retrieve the data and do not convert these into an ILWIS data format. The data is visualized using IrfanView and Panoply.
  • Routine adaptation: All import routines have been checked and adapted if data sources have been modified (e.g. re‐processed) or if links to these data sources have changed.
  • Bug fixing: Some bugs in import routines have been corrected.
  • Routine check: All routines first check if data is downloaded before carrying out further processing. If no data can be retrieved the routine can be aborted.
  • New routines: several routines have been added to retrieve the following data:
  • TRMM 3B42 global daily rainfall archive
  • MEaSUREs Global Vegetation Products (NDVI and Enhanced Vegetation Index) for various data integration periods, like daily, 7‐days, 15‐days and monthly time intervals
  • NASA Global Ocean Data (day and night time SST and Chlorophyl‐a from MODIS Terra and Aqua)
  • Daily Surface Soil Moisture from TRMM‐TMI (day and night time overpasses) from the Global Land Data Assimilation System
  • Data visualization: visualization of data from the ECMWF, using Panoply, and NOAA‐CPC SST and SST anomaly animations.

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