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Loader for NASA/ESA PDS/EDR images

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This plugin loads NASA/ESA PDS/EDR images.

PDS/EDR format is the image format used by NASA Planetary Data System
and by ESA Planetary Science Archives. PDS images from various space
missions are available at and

MAHLI / MastCam from Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" (MSL) partly supported: 8 bit RDR can be loaded (file names with DRCX and DRCL). Two files needed for each image: LBL and IMB. EDR and 16 bit will follow.

With the PDS plug-in you can load images from these missions and others:

  • Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" (MSL)
  • Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" (MER)
  • Mars Express HRSC
  • 2001 Mars Odyssey THEMIS EDR/RDR-QUB (RGB-loader)
  • Mars Global Surveyor MOC
  • Mars Pathfinder
  • Viking Lander

PDS-files usually have the filename-suffix ".img" or ".imq" if compressed.
Note, that this suffix is also used for other non-PDS file-formats.

As GIMP will support 16 bit per channel only from GIMP 3.0 on 16 bit data is currently converted to 8 bit with this plugin.

The plug-in will install itself as input filter for files with the following suffixes:

Source and compiled versions for Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and Windows:

First release in 1999, continuously adapted to current GIMP versions and new PDS formats.
Author: Holger Isenberg,

pds-2.4.116.tar.gz175.52 KB


Large parts of the source code that is shipped in the Zip file do not claim that they are distributed as Public domain, and the parts that are the GIMP plug-in do not do this, either.

Please do correct this and provide the proper licensing information.

I'll add license information on the next version.

My part, the pds.c is public domain.

The other code, for loading MGS/MOC data, was published by MSSS and is public domain, too, as written in the header of pmain.c. The only restriction is, that you should use that code only for loading images from the MOC (Mars Observer Camera), which is of course the purpose of the plugin, as no other space mission used that very special encoding.

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