IDV Development Status Report
August 28, 2006
This report updates the status of Unidata's IDV development
efforts since the last report
Unidata 2008 proposal
, IDV development was defined under
the proposed Endeavor 4 "Software to Analyze and Visualize Geoscience
Data". Under this endeavor, the following goals were 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
- Expanding IDV capabilities to support the creation of exploration
based, interactive, pedagogic materials and integration with digital
- Developing collaborative tools to make effective use of shared
- Developing a framework that allows end-user assembly and
integration of IDV components
- Adapting to GIS frameworks (OpenGIS and ISO standards), content-based data mining, and other evolving technologies
Progress since last report
- IDV version 2.0 was released on August 2, 2006. Because of the
new dashboard which significantly changed the user interface
of the IDV, the version was labeled 2.0 instead of 1.3.
The IDV can be downloaded at
A more complete list of new features can be found in the
IDV 2.0 Release Notes, but a few hightlights are:
- New Dashboard Window - organizes the various IDV windows.
- Plug-in architecture that allows users to import customizations
of the IDV (specialized code and resources). A portion of the
IDV web page will be a place where we can post plug-ins that
IDV users can download and install. This plug-in architecture
was used for the T-REX field project and is now being used
for installing the GEON customizations for the IDV.
- Performance improvements - major improvements were made
in reading observation data from netCDF files (faster,
time binning, subsetting), Level II reading through the CDM,
and omitting extra work done in creating displays.
- In display labels and color scales. (Work continues on
customizing these more).
- At the Spring 2006 User's Committtee meeting, IDV development
and performance was discussed extensively. At that meeting,
the developers promised to make performance and usability
the highest priority for the next full release. Most of the
spring and summer was spent on peformance analysis and
improvement and usability. The IDV Dashboard was developed
to address the frequent complaint of "too many windows".
Significant performance improvements were made in several
areas of the IDV from data loading to display. Work
continues in this area and since the 2.0 release, we have begun
working with the THREDDS/netCDF-Java group to address any
performance issues related to their code that the IDV relies on
for accessing data locally and remotely. Response from the
IDV users to this work has been generally favorable. Some
"I like v2 - much easier to use and it does seem quicker than
old version. By the way, I installed using your preferred method
- the 'plugin' method - and it is straightforward - thank you. "
-- IDV for GEON user
"I like the dashboard controls as they do a nice job of organizing
the controls. Overall, I feel the dashboard makes the process of
using IDV simpler. I like how the selection process automatically
advances you through the tabs with the different levels of controls."
-- IDV Steering Committee member
- The IDV was featured in several talks and labs at the
highly successful 2006 Unidata Summer Workshop. Don Murray
gave an overview presentation of the IDV and Ricardo Nogueira
(LSU) showed the results from his thesis comparing student
learning in classes that used the IDV vs. those that didn't.
John Horel used the IDV in his lab to compare mesonet observations
with new NDFD analysis products. Tom Baltzer and Anne Wilson
used the IDV as part of the LEAD demonstration to launch
WRF simulations on the LEAD testbeds and display the results.
Rich Clark gave an overview of the use of IDV in the LEAD Education
work being done at Millersville.
- Use of IDV continues to increase. Over the summer, the
IDV was being used over 200 times per (week) day. This increase
during the summer months was surprising as was the steady
support load. Top known sites are University of Wisconsin,
ITC (Netherlands), Millersville University, University
of Arizona and University of Wyoming (for CUPIDO field project).
- The IDV developers are creating screencast training
modules for the IDV. These short presentations will be used
to supplement the existing documentation. They cover a particular
feature of the IDV and how to use it. Samples are available
Development and testing is underway for the next release of
the IDV which will be previewed during the IDV training workshop in
November. Work will include - updating workshop training materials,
performance enhancements for imagery, more user customization
(e.g., custom mouse/keyboard controls).
Ongoing efforts include:
- Collaborating in the development of
- Keeping up with new Java interfaces and developments
- Various and sundry IDV bug fixes and enhancements.
This document is maintained by
Don Murray <firstname.lastname@example.org>