[R] download/retain text file structure with RCurl/getURL()

zack holden zack_holden at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 19 19:26:37 CET 2009


Dear list,
 
I'm trying to download a text file directly from the internet using the RCurl package and the command getURL. Duncan Lang graciously helped me solve the first step in this problem using the following command:

################# 
txtfile <- getURL('ftp://ftp.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/data/snow/snow_course/table/history/idaho/13e19.txt', 
ftp.use.epsv = FALSE)
#################
 
This brings the text file into R in a single long character string. I've spent many hours now trying to bring this text file into R into a sensible form. I've tried every variant of different commands in getURL help file, as well as different 
strsplit() commands to try to break this character string into a sensible rows and columns, to no avail. 
 
Can anyone suggest a solution for doing this? I suspect there is a getURL command I'm missing. Alternatively, do I really have to break this long character string into rows and columns that I can then assemble into a table? 
 
I'd be grateful for any advice.
 
Thanks in advance, 
 
Zack

 


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