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Thread: Question about INFO and Lookup Tables

  1. #1
    James Schramek
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    Default Question about INFO and Lookup Tables

    I have what is probably a very tough question. Back in the OLD days, before ArcGIS, and maybe generally before workstations, perhaps all the way back to when Prime was the parent language for ArcInfo, the typical convention for lookup tables was to have an info directory that was not subordinate to a workspace. Essentially, you went into INFO and then user name ARC. I'm not exactly why this was the convention, but back then we had developed a lookup table that cross-walked soil mapping units to climax vegetation. This generated really nice timber stand information and now, after more than a decade of this use being "discarded", there is interest in it again. However, even though an old backup directory still contains the "INFO username ARC" structure in info, the Workstation ArcInfo provided at Arc10 only knows INFO from within a workspace. It would be wonderful if there was an export file for this particular dataset, but there isn't that I can find. There might be on one of several hundred 8mm tapes I can no longer read, but that is another issue.....fishing expedition for info on a tape that can't be read without cost of finding someone to read it, and no assurance which tape. What would likely work would be to have some means to bring up INFO from the prompt not inside Arc: . That used to be REALLY easy, as on a unix workstation, which we no longer have either, that was one option for how it functioned. Is it still possible to bring up INFO without being in a workspace? Is there another way to recover this file from a well-stocked directory of similar old lookup table data? This is the sort of question that probably requires the attention of Dale Hunnicutt or someone who had similar expertise in INFO from the old days.

  2. #2
    Vince Angelo

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    Default Re: Question about INFO and Lookup Tables

    Having been trained by Dale and Earl, I went on to teaching Navigating Info myself, so I
    think I qualify to answer this question.

    Since a "workspace" is just a directory with an "info" directory, it's likely the inability of
    Workstation 10 to read your directory is due to an Info version compatibility issue --
    Can you do a recursive directory listing from the parent directory, just so we can know
    what client(s) can read the data? You might just need a CONVERTWORKSPACE to
    upgrade to the 4-digit files with 8.3 naming of Info 9 (which shipped with Arc 7.01,
    as I recall).

    Since INFO files were just flat binary files, in the absolute worst case, you could probably
    write some Python code (or 'C' or Java) to parse the NIT file(s) and extract the information,
    but I doubt that would be necessary.

    - V

  3. #3
    Curtis Price

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    Default Re: Question about INFO and Lookup Tables

    Quote Originally Posted by vangelo View Post
    Since INFO files were just flat binary files,
    I think it's sweet the way folks at Esri speak of Workstation in the past tense.

  4. #4
    Vince Angelo

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    Default Re: Question about INFO and Lookup Tables

    But always respectfully, in hushed tones (as appropriate for the recently departed).

    - V

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