I have thousands of xyz (latitude,longitude,elevation) text files that I want to separate by latitude or longitude. How and what commands could I use to create an "if latitude(column1) is greater than -1.00, than move to this directory"? for all files in my original directory.

I have been close with a couple different commands using grep or awk but not working exactly how I would like.

example list of files


here is a sample of the first 10 lines of a file, many of these files have millions and millions of lines

-002.9584650 54.0087979 -5.3
-002.9416586 54.0326371 -1.3
-002.9307806 54.0323594 -8.5
-002.9644657 53.9985145 0.8
-002.9680185 54.0019534 -10
-002.9524820 54.0183868 -5
-002.9439942 54.0179227 -4.2
-002.9569578 54.0183595 -5.4
-002.9372192 54.0224494 -3.2
-002.9535454 54.0178188 -4.3
  • can you edit your post with file names, or file content ? – Archemar Apr 5 '16 at 15:07
  • you say if any column is greater than -1, move the (file?) - will a whole file be moved, or will different lines in a single file qualify for more than one "move" ? – Jeff Schaller Apr 5 '16 at 15:17
  • Yes, sorry i didn't specify. I would like if any value in column 1 is above or below the number I want, than move. – lbeazy Apr 5 '16 at 15:19

If file have no funny name (that is space)

global sort

awk 'FNR==1 { printf "mv %s ../dir%d\n",FILENAME,$1 ; next ; }' * | bash

north/south sort

awk 'FNR==1 { printf "mv %s ../%s\n",FILENAME,$1<0?"south":"north" ; next ; }' * | bash


  • FNR == 1 operate on first line of file
  • printf and %d will resolve to int part of column 1
  • replace | bash by | head -10 to check it is OK
  • next will skip remaining line an go to next file.
  • $1<0?"south":"north" will select either south or north

I supposed you want to move the whole file, and that all latitude are either above or below 0.

  • when I used this, it dissolves my files and just creates new files merging them together. Essentially, I would like to keep original file intact, just move them to a new directory based on if/than search criteria that I choose. – lbeazy Apr 5 '16 at 22:41

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