The Psion Data Format (Version 703)

This page documents version 703 (the third version?) of the Psion's text output. This page is the definitive reference for version 703 of the Psion data format and is linked to by the Babase: Technical Specifications for the Amboseli Baboon Project Data Management System document. This page also notes what data is used and what is ignored.

The Psion hand-held data collection devices output the data as text.

The format of the collected data and the output format has changed over time. The data format is closely tied to the field data collection protocols and that document should also be consulted.

Overall Structure

Psion files consist of ASCII text. The end-of-line sequence is carrage-return, line-feed, corresponding to the MS-DOS text file conventions. Contrary to the MS-DOS convention, the files do not seem to use the Ctrl-Z character as an end-of-file marker. Commas are used within the lines to delimit data.

Each line is one of 3 formats:

The order of the lines in the file is significant. The occurrence of a header line indicates the start of a new data collection session. Within each data collection session the point and ad-lib lines appear in data acquisition sequence and, for point lines, determines the POINT_DATA.Min value.

Header lines

Header lines indicate the start of a set of data points. The file should begin with a header line.


<HDR>,0602011300VEH,PTSAMPLR_JUL03,SETUP_JUL03,2,01 Feb 2006,VIO,SNS,VEH,JUV

Field layout

The fields of the header lines are:

Point lines

All point lines, whether recording female or juvenile samples, share some fields.

Special neighbor codes used in PNT lines

The value of XXX as a Sname for a neighbor code means that there is no neighbor of that sort.

Neighbor codes in the Psion may also contain values found in UNKSNAMES.Unksname column, in which case the data is stored in the NEIGHBORS.Unksname column rather than the NEIGHBORS.Sname column.

Sample (Juvenile) Point line


Common Field layout

The fields common to all point lines are:

Juvenile Field layout

The fields unique to the Juvenile samples are:

Female Point lines

Female point lines contain information not present in Juvenile point lines.

Sample Female Point line


Female Field layout

The fields unique to female samples are:

Ad-lib lines

The Ad-lib lines are of 6 different types, as determined by the content of field 4. Groomings, agnonisims, requests to groom, and approches are recorded in the INTERACT_DATA and PARTS tables. The other types, consortships and unspecified, are recorded in the ALLMISCS table.



Common Field layout

Type G, A, R, or P Field layout

Non-G, A, R, and P Field layout

PsionFormat (last edited 2012-02-07 19:17:18 by localhost)

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