IDV Development Status Report

Don Murray
September 25, 2003

This report updates the status of Unidata's IDV development efforts since the last report.


During the 1998-2003 Unidata proposal period, the MetApps project goals were:
  1. Deliver turn-key platform-independent applications for the analysis and visualization of meteorological data. These applications must provide and extend the most important capabilities of currently-available applications such as GEMPAK, GARP, and McIDAS. Use of these applications should require no knowledge of Java or component architectures.

  2. Deliver easily installed executables, user documentation, and test cases for the turn-key applications.

  3. Identify or create a component-oriented framework that supports construction of custom applications from components used to build the turn-key applications. This framework should be useful to create new combinations of components that provide subsets of the capabilities of the turn-key applications, connect them in unanticipated ways, or provide tailored mini-applications for embedding in educational materials. Use of these components may require knowledge of component architectures or Java.

  4. Deliver full source code, class documentation, and test cases for the MetApps components.

  5. Enlist other developers in enhancing components and developing new components for the framework by providing an archive, mailing list, developers' forums, documentation, web site, and support for the components.

The Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) was released in June 2003 and is the culmination of this effort. The IDV reference application embodies goals #1 and #2 listed above. The IDV framework supports the development of custom applications as specified in #3 such as the specialized IDV based visualization tool in the Visual Geophysical Exploration Environment (VGEE). Source code, documentation and example applications are provided with the IDV release. Other developers are starting to provide enhancements to the IDV framework (VGEE and EPA) and many of the items in #5 are already in place. The UPC is currently investigating ways to make it easier for developers to contribute to all software projects and the IDV development will benefit from such a system.

We feel that we have met the goals of the MetApps project in the timeframe specified and are now moving on to the next phase of IDV development.

In the Unidata 2008 proposal, IDV development will continue under the proposed Endeavor 4 "Software to Analyze and Visualize Geoscience Data". Under this endeavor, the following goals are outlined:

  1. Supporting analysis and visualization of local modeling efforts (e.g., WRF and MM5 output)
  2. Incorporating new datasets and data types
  3. Exploring new approaches to visualizing and interacting with Earth system data, focusing on novel 3-D techniques that fuse data from multiple sources
  4. Expanding IDV capabilities to support the creation of exploration based, interactive, pedagogic materials and integration with digital libraries.
  5. Developing collaborative tools to make effective use of shared visualizations
  6. Developing a framework that allows end-user assembly and integration of IDV components
  7. Adapting to GIS frameworks (OpenGIS and ISO standards), content-based data mining, and other evolving technologies
The IDV development team (Don Murray, Jeff McWhirter, Stuart Wier) will also be involved in Endeavor 1 "Responding to a broader and more diverse community" (e.g., adding support for new and larger datasets) and Endeavor 2 "Comprehensive support services" (e.g., providing IDV support to a growing community of users, IDV training workshops). Under Endeavor 5 "Distributed, organized collections of digital material", we will continue to work towards incorporating network accessible datasets into the IDV.

Progress since last report

New development

Testing of IDV 1.1 beta1 is currently underway and this version will be released just before the November workshop. New features (and their relation to the Unidata 2008 endeavors where applicable) include:

Ongoing efforts include:

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