AWIPS Tips: Measuring Up - Distance Tools in CAVE

AWIPS Tips


Welcome back to AWIPS Tips!

Today we’re going to focus on a few specific tools found in the Tools menu in CAVE. All three tools are related to Distance. We’ll take a look at the Distance Bearing, Distance Scale, and Distance Speed tools.

Distance Bearing

This tool initially loads 6 editable lines to the main editor. You can change the length and orientation of the lines and it will read out the azimuth (degrees) and range (miles) relative to the unlabeled end of the line. This resource can be made non editable (meaning you can’t alter the position or direction of the tracks) either by accessing the resource menu from right-click-holding on the resource name, and unchecking “Editable”, or by clicking on the resource name with the middle mouse button. You’ll notice the resource name changes when it is uneditable. You can also change the color, line style, and line thickness as shown in the brief example below. Setting the color can be accessed either from the resource menu or from right-clicking the resource name. This information is also available in our documentation about the Distance Bearing tool.

Distance Scale

The Distance Scale tool is also commonly known as a scale bar in some other applications. This tool can be modified by accessing the resource menu (with a right-click-hold), where the scale units can be changed between miles, nautical miles, and kilometers. The resource color can also quickly be set by right-clicking the resource menu and choosing from the color prompter that pops up. These features are shown in the example below. Information about the Distance Scale can be found in our online documentation.

Distance Speed

This tool can be useful for measuring the linear movement of meteorologic features and events. Loading this tool initially prompts the user with a window to specify options for the mode: Point or Line, and Legend: Time or Speed. The time option can come in handy when trying to assess at what time a feature (like a severe storm) will arrive at a specific location based on its tracked motion. Once those settings are chosen, you can close that window and begin using the tool; in the example below, we use the default options of point and speed. Next, drag the marker to your point of interest, and then scroll forward in time a few frames, and drag the marker again to the point of interest. This is very similar to how the Warngen storm motion tool works. Now, when you scroll through the frames you’ll see the tool read the speed and direction the feature is moving through the frames. In the example below we use GOES Channel 10 imagery data to measure a feature with the Distance Speed tool. This tool can also be made “uneditable” or have its color changed, similar to other tools discussed in this blog. Information about this tool can be found in our documentation.


NOTE: Many of the tools mentioned here can be made editable, however in CAVE only one resource can be editable at a time..

The tools reviewed today can be useful for tracking and measuring distances, speeds, and orientations of various meteorological features. We hope you learned something useful today. Please check back in two weeks for the next blog post, where we use python-awips to create a plot of a region of interest.

To view archived blogs, visit the AWIPS Tips blog tag, and get notified of the latest updates from the AWIPS team by signing up for the AWIPS mailing list. Questions or suggestions for the team on future topics? Let us know at support-awips@unidata.ucar.edu

This blog was posted in reference to v20.3.2-0.4 of NSF Unidata AWIPS

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