IDV (with special mention to RAMADDA)

Status Report: April 2012 - September 2012

Yuan Ho, Julien Chastang, Sean Arms

This report updates the status of Unidata's Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) development efforts since the last report (April, 2012). We also highlight RAMADDA developments that are relevant to the IDV.

Strategic Focus Areas

The IDV group's activities support Unidata's strategic goals in the following ways:

  1. Enable widespread, efficient access to geoscience data
    The IDV is a state of the art geoscience visualization application. It gives users the ability to view and analyze a rich set of geoscience data, including real time data, in a seamless and integrated fashion. This analysis is captured in IDV bundles. RAMADDA is a content management system and service specifically tailored towards the sharing and distribution of IDV bundles facilitating distribution of scientific data and analysis.
  2. Develop and provide open-source tools for effective use of geoscience data
    The IDV has been an open-source project for several years. Most recently, we moved to the github version control platform for greater open-source collaboration. The IDV provides users the unparalleled ability to analyze, integrate, and visualize heterogeneous geoscience data in two, three, and four dimensions. The IDV coupled with RAMADDA enables geoscience specialists the capability to share and collaborate their IDV analysis via social scientific networks.
  3. Provide cyberinfrastructure leadership in data discovery, access, and use
    RAMADDA allows geoscience specialists the ability to search and publish their IDV bundles on-line. Unidata's RAMADDA installation enables the IDV team to communicate more effectively to our users concerning their IDV issues. Specifically, during support ticket conversations, the IDV team requests that users upload pertinent data to RAMADDA for analysis. The IDV team also takes advantage of RAMADDA to share instructional IDV screencasts with users.
  4. Build, support, and advocate for the diverse geoscience community
    Unidata offers yearly multi-day training and occasionally regional workshops for IDV and RAMADDA. The IDV coupled with RAMADDA enables our earth science community partners to distribute geoscience data and metadata through web-based technologies thereby fostering scientific collaborations. Moreover, the IDV's ability to share bundles through RAMADDA creates a scientific social and collaborative network for the geoscience community.

Activities Since the Last Status Report

Model Analysis

The IDV has enhanced capability for statistical analysis of ensemble model output. Averages, probabilities, and other statistical quantities can be computed and visualized for ensemble model output leading to a clear view of ensemble forecast distribution.

Data Integration

The IDV has new time matching capabilities allowing users to intelligently combine multiple datasets over the time dimension.

Publication Quality Graphics

The IDV has new multi-view image and movie capture features as well as axis labeling advancements for improved publication figures.

IDV Training and Conference Attendance

The IDV group presented an IDV demonstration in the 13th Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) User's Workshop, June 25-29. We also provided IDV training at the WRF User's Tutorial July 16-20. Yuan Ho attended The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) meeting July 17-20 in Madison, Wisconsin. Yuan Ho and Tom Yoksas visited the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) in Beijing and the Chengdu Meteorological Institute in June. During this trip Yuan Ho demonstrated the IDV to 80+ graduate students.

RAMADDA Activity

The CMA deployed and maintains over 240 federated RAMADDA servers. In addition, the RAMADDA installation at Unidata is kept up-to-date for the Unidata community. In particular, RAMADDA played a key role during the 2012 Unidata Users Workshop for the sharing and distribution of material concerning the workshop. The Unidata RAMADDA team also collaborated with the Developmental Testbed Center at UCAR, Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) for their data distribution and visualization requirements.

Planned Activities

Ongoing Activities

The IDV team continues to provide the geoscience community high-quality IDV support and guidance through the e-support question and answer forum.

New Activities

The IDV team is planning the following activities for the fall of 2012:

  • Incorporate netCDF-Java 4.3 in both client-side and server-side infrastructure for various IDV enhancements including better handling of climate model calendars.
  • Research color table improvements. Study using Jython formulas for defining color tables.
  • Research time selection at chooser level for relative time improvements.
  • Research better incorporating non-georeferenced data into the IDV.
  • Create a new major section on RAMADDA for the IDV training workshop in October.
  • There will be an IDV booth at the National Weather Association (NWA) meeting in October 6-11 in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • AMS accepted an abstract for the AMS January 6-10, 2013 meeting for a presentation concerning new IDV developments.

Relevant Metrics

The number of both casual and regular IDV users is increasing. For example, in August 2011, there were 459 IDV users starting the IDV more than 5 times per month compared with 528 users for the same period in 2012. In August 2011, there were 72 IDV users starting the IDV more than 30 times per month compared with 89 users for the same period in 2012. Notably, there are large numbers of new IDV users are from China. Readers can find the raw metrics at .