[R] extracting data from unstructured (text?) file

frauke fhoss at andrew.cmu.edu
Mon Mar 12 02:21:58 CET 2012

Wow Jim, this is much more than I expected. Thank you!!

It took me a while to figure out what exactly you are doing in that code.
But I think I understand and it definitely runs. May I ask you two follow up

First, some of my files have data from two or more cities in them. So I have
trouble that it picks the right city. What makes it difficult is that not in
all files will a city be called the same. Sometimes it might be "van Buren",
other times "Arkansas River at van Buren". Sometimes the target city is the
first in the file, other times further down. Here is an example: 
http://r.789695.n4.nabble.com/file/n4465068/sample3.txt sample3.txt .
Additionally, some files miss the city that I am looking for. 

Second, I would like extract some more data from the files, printed in bold
below.  I thought of storing this data in an extra line appended to the main
table or so.  I do manage to extract one at a time, but of course it takes
ages to run the process over and over again to get all the data. 

:FLOOD STAGE * 22.0  *
:LATEST STAGE    *19.25* FT AT *400 AM* CST ON *010100*
.ER VBUA4    0101 C DC200001010823/DH12/HGIFF/DIH6
:QPF FORECAST        6AM       NOON        6PM       MDNT
.E1 :0101:              /      19.3/      19.4/      19.4
.E2 :0102:   /      19.4/      19.4/      19.4/      19.4
.E3 :0103:   /      19.4/      19.4/      19.4/      19.4
.E4 :0104:   /      19.4/      19.4/      19.4/      19.4
.E5 :0105:   /      19.4/      19.4/      19.4/      19.4
.E6 :0106:   /      19.4
.ER VBUA4    0101 C DC200001010823/DH12/PPQFZ/DIH6/  0.00/0.00/0.00/0.00  
.ER VBUA4    0101 C DC200001010823/DH12/QTIFF/DIH6
:QPF FORECAST        6AM       NOON        6PM       MDNT
.E1 :0101:              /      0.98/      2.78/      8.66
.E2 :0102:   /      9.88/      8.70/      7.36/      7.48
.E3 :0103:   /      8.25/      8.42/      8.53/      9.02

Please Jim, only answer these questions if you have time. I certainly
appreciate any help very much. 

Thank you, Frauke

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