Help Section: Message Download

Introduction:This page allows you to perform custom downloads. Use the data filter to define message criteria, then select the columns you would like to display. You can choose to download your messages in the following formats:


Use your mouse to choose the download format. Then click download.

*To view your data using Google Earth, Google Earth must already be installed on your computer.


    Message Download and Download COM/PRV/DIAG vs Export data: What is the difference?

    Message download and Download COM/PRV/DIAG are useful for large amounts of data; unlimited messages from the past 10 days can be downloaded (but not displayed) using these functions. The export function allows you to export a limited number of messages from the data table or the map page. For example, up to 1 500 messages can be exported from the data table and up to 10 000 messages can be exported from the map page.

    Choose the format (date, location, decimal separator…) your data should appear in by clicking on Preferences in the left menubar. Then select the Display tab.

How to create, save and reuse a custom download in 3 steps

  • Step 1: Select messages
  • Step 2: Select columns to display
  • Step 3: Save and reuse download criteria

Step 1: Select messages Use data filter to define the messages you want to download according to the following criteria: Platform, Message, Time frame or Location class.

For a more detailed description of the data filter, click here


How to download data from particular Platforms
Choose the platforms from which you want messages to be displayed. Click on the down arrow to the right of platform for the scroll box to appear. Choose the platform criteria. Then make your platform.

How to select message quality
Click on the down arrow near All messages received. You can choose to display all messages received or most significant or best on satellite pass.

Download messages within a particular Time frame
Click on the down arrow for the scroll box to appear. You can choose Most recent data, Since last login, For “n” days, or Between two dates. Click to select the time frame that corresponds. Only data from the current day and the past nine days is available.

Download data in a particular Location class

Click in the check box to select a location class. You can either type one or more location classes (separated by commas) in the scroll box, or browse, by clicking on the icon to the right of the scroll box.

If you choose to browse, a dialogue box will open listing a number of different location classes. Location class is used to express the accuracy of your Argos locations.

What is a location class? Click here


Step 2: Select columns to display

For more information on what columns mean, click here

Choose which columns you want to display by clicking in the check box box. A check will appear in the box check, indicating that this column will be displayed. Click at the top of the column  most recent data to check or uncheck all.

manage colunms

Sort: Choose the order in which to display your data.  Click on the up or down arrow under Order to open a dialogue box that allows you to displace a column towards the right or left.


Type a number in the text area or use the arrow keys to move a column to another location.


Step 3: Save and reuse download criteria

How to save a template: You can save each custom download by clicking on save. You will be asked to name the template.

How to reuse: After saving a template, you can download again according to the same criteria by clicking on open.  A dialogue box will open and you will be asked to recover selection criteria.

Select an existing template: You can select an existing template by clicking on download in the "Open" column of the line corresponding to your choice. The screen will refresh according to preset criteria. Click the download icon downloadto perform download.

Delete a template: Click on erase in the line corresponding to the template you want to delete.

How to display additional parameters to qualify the ellipse of error for location classes 0, 1, 2, 3

To display Diagnostic Data, click in the checkbox next to when you download your data, then click on Download.

For the values corresponding to the ellipse of error, please refer to this table:

Column title Error radius Semi-major axis Semi-minor axis Ellipse orientation GDOP*
Units Meters Meters Meters Degrees (from North when heading East) m/Hz

*Geometric Dilution of Precision (GDOP) is a measure of the effect of the geometry of the satellite-beacon configuration on location accuracy. The actual Argos location accuracy depends on both the GDOP value and the quality of the transmitter (frequency stability). As a general rule, a smaller GDOP value yields a more accurate position.

Click here for more information on the ellipse of error.