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		Star Catalog distribution

Optimum performance is achieved by having the star catalogs used in
the sky view window available on a local disk.  When these are not
present, the program attempts to use the internet to obtain catalog
data from Carnegie Observatories, and saves the data found on the local
disk (See the "Star Catalog Server" explanation in mginstr.txt).  There
is a slight performance degradation when this is done, so having your
own local copy of our star catalog information improves performance and
avoids long time-out waits if the internet is not available.  Having
this data is thus useful, but not required.

With our faster internet connection, it is now practical to distribute
our star catalog set over the internet.  Due to file size limitations,
there are two compressed tar files which contain all the catalog data.

These files are located on our FTP server ( at
Each file should take from 1.5 to 3 hours to download, and we prefer
that this downloading be done in the late evening to early morning
hours Pacific Time.

Once you have these two files, find a suitable directory which will be
readable by all users and have at least 4.3 gigabytes of space available.
Then cd to that target directory, and do this:
	> gtar xfz  /wherever/gcats1.tgz
	> gtar xfz  /wherever/gcats2.tgz
which should extract all the star catalog information, and construct
the needed directory structure.  The extraction and writing of this
data should take about 5 to 15 minutes per file on most systems.
Both files are needed for a successful installation.
A suitable directory will be one on a large, fast server disk to
which all users will have easy access.

Please note that this catalog data is not changed when the maskgen
software is updated.  One download will suffice for the foreseeable
future -- at least several more years.  A special announcement will
be made in the rare case that new catalog data is issued.

To use these catalogs in intgui, each user should have the environment
variable GMAPCATS set to the target directory, or alternatively a symbolic
link may be set up at /usr/local/etc/gcats which points to the target
directory.  The environment variable CATPATH can also be used.

Since this distribution method is new, I would appreciate user feedback
on how long the download actually took, and whether you successfully
unpacked and used the catalogs.  Send your download times and comments
to:  clardy (at)