displacement/spatial shift modeling??

Hi everyone, hope someone can help...

I am comparing meterological grids of data.  Let's say for every point in
a forecast grid F, I calculate some point in a reference grid R, with the
intent that if the point FP in the forecast grid were 'moved'/'displaced'
to point RP in the reference model, it would in some way 'fit' the
reference model better.

So displacement(FP) -> RP is my basic model

For instance, grid point 7,7 in F might map to point 10,9 in R.  As I see
it there are two values which we may want to convey on a visual
explanation, and that is both the direction and magnitude of the
displacement.

I am not sure how to best model this in visad.  Some options I have seen
are:

1. take the examples/Rivers.java approach, and define a union set of
gridded2Dsets where in each set I have two points FP and RP, and union
this over all points in the set of displacements.  The problem here is
that I wouldn't see any 'flow' of the displacement, since the rivers have
no 'direction'.

2. adapt a local implementaion we have here which uses a VisADLineArray
and a ShapeControl.  Here, the flatfield has just a single value, and
there is a single shape in the shape set.  That shape is itself a union of
all the 'arrows' which represent the displacements.

I'm worried that this approach does not use the grid points as a MathType
domain at all, and I see that this was pointed out on the mailing list.  I
do not quite understand the semantics of line arrays.  Are the values
actual pixel values within the display canvas, or are they scaled to -1
to 1 like the Display.[XY]Axis display tuple types?

Further, as the display is updated with new displacements, the shape set
is recalculated.

My tweaks to this model would be just to define 360 line array 'arrows',
and use a 360 element shape set.  then the function type would be

grid row x grid col -> theta, where theta is atan2(RP.y-FP.y,RP.x-FP.x)

and theta would be attached to a scalar map of type Display.Shape.  Then
as theta changes, the shape set is re-sampled but is constant itself.
This is more appealing since it fits the visad model better.  As may
happen, at some points in F, no displacement may be defined.  Do I then
use a 'null' line array at index X in the shape set and set the
flatfield's value to X for those grid points??

3.  Investigate more the 'Flow' scalar types??  My worry is that these
flow types are designed for a data set 'as a whole' and that in my data
set, at each locality the flow directions might vary considerably from its
neighbors.  But if this display type is designed for data sets
representing some form of displacement or spatial shift, then this is
probably what I want.

Any comments very gratefully appreciated.


Stuart