Part 4—Download Software and Data

Step 1 Download and Install ImageJ Software

ImageJ is in the public domain. It can be freely downloaded and installed on any computer including those at schools, homes, and businesses.
  1. Go to the ImageJ Download page and open it in a new window.
  2. Click the link that appears directly below the name of your computer's operating system (e.g., Mac, Linux, Windows). This action will transfer a compressed file of the software to your computer. Your browser should automatically expand the file, creating an ImageJ folder on your computer's hard drive.
  3. For more detailed instructions from the ImageJ website, click Installation Instructions , then select your operating system.
Note to Windows Users: It is recommended that you install ImageJ in the Documents directory, rather than in the Program Files directory. For security reasons, Windows 7 and Windows Vista do not allow programs to alter themselves by writing files to the Program Files directory. If ImageJ is installed in the Program Files directory, then the update function in Step 2 below will not work properly. In addition, if you are a Windows Vista user, be sure to choose the correct version of ImageJ (either 32-bit or 64-bit) for your computer.

Step 2 Update or Downgrade ImageJ

ImageJ Updater Window ImageJ update dialog box.

Double-click the ImageJ icon ImageJ Icon Small to launch the application and choose Help > Update > ImageJ.... A window will appear, telling you the version you are currently running and a list of upgrade versions. Choose the version you want to upgrade to (usually the most recent, or default version) and click OK. After the update downloads, you will need to re-launch ImageJ to run the new version.

ImageJ Updater Window Options ImageJ update dialog box showing upgrade and downgrade options.

ImageJ is a professional research and analysis tool, and is under constant development. If the latest update of the application introduces new bugs or errors, or has an unfamiliar interface that does not match written instructions, you can downgrade your copy of ImageJ to an older, more stable or familiar version.

Step 3 Conduct a GOES Image Search at NOAA

Access the NOAA GOES website ( This site may be offline. ) and click on the GOES East or GOES West Archive link in the box along the left edge of the page to open the GOES Image Search Template.

Step 4 Download a Sequence of Images From the GOES 21-Day Archive

  1. Make a selection from each of the categories to identify a specific GOES image, then click the button labeled Submit Choice to open the image. Save the image to your computer by clicking on the image while holding down the Control key (Mac) or using the right-click (PC).
  2. Things to Note
  • In general, the archive holds images for the previous 21 days. If, on a Thursday for example, you select Tuesday for the Day and 3rd Week Ago for the Week, there may be no image available.
  • As noted above, time is designated using a 24-hour clock in ZULU or UTC time. While infrared and water vapor images are independent of sunlight and are available for 24 hours a day, visible light images are available just during daylight hours. So, at 0900Z the entire United States may still be dark, and the West Coast may not have sunlight until after 1300Z.
  • Unlike the real-time GOES images, which are available at 15 minute intervals, the archived GOES images are available at 30 minute intervals.
  • Use the Back button to navigate back to the GOES Image Search template and download 5 additional images. For each new download, advance the time by one hour, but do not change any other variables. Make a folder to hold the downloaded images. This six-hour sequence of images is what you will use to build an animation, so make sure you have a set of images you are pleased with.
  • Although the GOES Archive holds images for only the previous 21 days, once you download them you can use them at any time. For example, if a dramatic storm develops during the summer, as long as you download a selection of images within 21 days, you'll be able to use them whenever it is convenient.

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