[R] FITS File Reader

Barry Rowlingson B.Rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
Fri Jul 11 14:48:21 CEST 2003

Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> If you do locate code to read it, or you end up writing some yourself,
> you should consider contributing it to the foreign package.

There's a C (and fortran)-level library for reading FITS files here:


  - together with addons for Perl, Python, C++ etc. Coding an R 
interface would be a nice exercise in R coding.

  I would have already written this if not for the fact that most of the 
high-dimensional data that I deal with gets written with some awful 
unformatted fortran IO rubbish that needs reverse-engineering and 
byte-swapping. Haven't these people heard of HDF or FITS?? *sigh*

  Also, I notice that SciLab can read FITS files, by using ImageMagick, 
which can read FITS files.... ImageMagick could convert it to something 
readable by R, I guess.... This would be the dirty hack solution.


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