IDV Development Status Report
September 25, 2003
This report updates the status of Unidata's IDV development efforts since the last
During the 1998-2003 Unidata proposal period, the MetApps
project goals were:
- 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.
- Deliver easily installed executables, user documentation, and test cases
for the turn-key applications.
- 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.
- Deliver full source code, class documentation, and test cases for the
- 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:
- Supporting analysis and visualization of local modeling efforts (e.g., WRF
and MM5 output)
- Incorporating new datasets and data types
- Exploring new approaches to visualizing and interacting with Earth system
data, focusing on novel 3-D techniques that fuse data from multiple sources
- Expanding IDV capabilities to support the creation of exploration based,
interactive, pedagogic materials and integration with digital libraries.
- Developing collaborative tools to make effective use of shared
- Developing a framework that allows end-user assembly and integration of
- 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
Progress since last report
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:
- Enhancement of displays of Level II Archive Format in the IDV (Endeavor 4,
Items 2 and 3). New features include:
- RHI displays in 2- and 3-D
- 3D sweep views
- Isosurfaces of Level II moments
- Nested cone displays
- Time series and data probes
- New colloboration facility that allows sharing of displays on remote
machines (Endeavor 4, item 5).
- Support for displaying Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data from USGS and
ArcInfo ASCII Grid files (Endeavor 4, item 7).
- New control for displaying profiles of data along a transect (Endeavor 4,
- Initial support for reading GeoTIFF data files (Endeavor 4, item 7).
- Support for reading and displaying all valid VisAD data supported data
types. If not geo-referenced, these can be displayed in an enhanced version of
the VisAD Spreadsheet cell. (Endeavor 4, items 2 and 3)
- Preliminary work on a Jython-based display control that allows developers
and advanced users to create new types of displays and perform data
manipulation via Jython scripts rather than writing and compiling Java code.
Jython is a scripting language more like MatLab or IDL and is more familiar to
many researchers than Java. (Endeavor 4, item 6)
- Enhancement of derived quantities and formulas portion of IDV.
- Performance improvements
- General User Interface tightening
Ongoing efforts include:
- Collaborating in the development of VisAD
- Keeping up with new Java interfaces and developments
- Various and sundry IDV bug fixes and enhancements.
This document is maintained by http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/staff/donm/index.html