Re: scientific plotting applications in VisAD

Hi Tommy,

I'm involved in a project at the Bureau of Meteorology known as AIFS :
the Australian Integrated Forecast System, which is installed
operationally in our forecasting centres Australia wide, as well as the
Fiji Met Service.

One of the consistent messages from users has been the need for better
integration of applications, high levels of flexibility and
extensibility, and the need to save time and effort on the part of the

In an effort to meet these needs, we have been using VisAD to develop
our "version 2" applications, and so far we have:
* a Tropical Cyclone module which went operational this southern summer
* a Marine Forecasting System (user adjusts model guidance to produce
graphical & text products) which is being trialled in one office
* developed classes to allow some VisAD data structures to be
stored/retrieved as XML data (which we plan to release publicly soon)
* begun work on a "remote data server" facility to allow rapid browsing
of numerical model data
* begun work on a Wind Profiler display

Experience to date shows that VisAD is an extremely useful basis for
this work, and with it's powerful data model, significantly reduces the
pain of data integration.

Re collaboration, we will gladly work with others where there is a
common interest. 

> How difficult would it be in time and effort for
> the average programmer who is not familiar with VisAD to develop such
> an application?

The time to "learn" VisAD is decreasing rapidly in my opinion. Now that
there are some excellent tutorials available, my experience is that the
right person (Java literate, preferably with a Maths background) can be
productive after one week. I had a 2nd year student producing useful
code in week 2, and a demonstration application in 8 weeks. The
assistance of Bill, Tom and others from Uni of Wisconsin, and Don et al
from Unidata has been invaluable.

Hope this helps,


"Tommy E. Cathey" wrote:
> Bill and/or colleagues,
> As a contractor in EPA's National Environmental Supercomputing
> Center, NESC, I have been tasked to survey the Internet
> for available 2-D/3-D scientific plotting applications for possible
> integration into the EPA's Multimedia Integrated Modeling System,
> Some of the requirements for this application include the following:
> -run under Win32 and Linux
> -open source
> -extensible with user defined routines
> -license which would allow the EPA to distribute it to all MIMS users
> -GUI interface (batch processing is also highly desired)
> -basic 2-D plots such as
> ---line, scatter,  histograms, bar, box, log,
> ---contour, vector, mesh, polar, and function plots
> -some 3-D plots such as bar, dot plots (not required at this time)
> -image manipulation (zoom, rotate, translate)
> -edit data in separate window
> -fully configurable layout including symbols, color, labels, axes
> -publication grade output
> -statistics would be nice to have
> Grace, SciGraphica, Java Analysis Studio among other applications
> have been examined.  While Grace has many of the desired features
> the Windows port of Grace is not satisfactory and requires an X-server
> which is not likely to be part of the MIMS distribution. Other
> applications
> have lacked the desired features. Thus the search has broadened to
> include
> Java toolkits such as VisAD and Scientific Graphics Toolkit.
> Does anyone know of an application developed in VisAD which might
> fit EPA's needs? Or is there anyone who has started development on
> such an
> application who would be willing to collaborate with the NESC staff
> in such an endeavor? How difficult would it be in time and effort for
> the average programmer who is not familiar with VisAD to develop such
> an application?
> Thanks in advance for comments and consideration.
> --Tommy
> --
> Tommy E. Cathey
> Senior Scientific Application Consultant
> Lockheed Martin Technical Services (Contractor to EPA)
> mailto:cathey.tommy@xxxxxxx
> (919)541-1500
> My e-mail does not reflect the opinion of Lockheed Martin or the EPA.

James Kelly                                          Regional Computing 
Phone: 61-3-9669-4724 Fax: 61-3-9669-4128     Email: J.Kelly@xxxxxxxxxx