Archive for November, 2015

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

IDL wish list: better vector field visualization

I wrote an overview almost eight years ago about IDL’s basic routines to visualize a vector field. Not much has changed since then. This paper by Laidlaw, et al, mentioned at the end of my overview, outlines six common visualization techniques and evaluates them on the speed and accuracy of doing common tasks with them. […]

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Thursday, November 19th, 2015

2015 Vizzies voting

Public voting is open for the 2015 NSF Vizzies, the visualization competition with categories for photos, illustrations, posters/graphics, interactive visualizations, and videos. Check them out and vote for your favorites — I find them very motivating!

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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

IDL wish list: interactive graphics for the web

While interactive graphics can be created in IDL, you are currently limited to distributing an IDL application to provide them to others. It would be useful to be able to create interactive web graphics from IDL — particularly if it was just a click or ->save call from function graphics. Bokeh is a library for […]

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Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Spectacular solar images from SDO in HD

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is capturing spectacular images of the sun in ten different wavelengths. NASA Goddard has produced this amazing HD video of the images. There is a lot going on: It’s always shining, always ablaze with light and energy that drive weather, biology and more. In addition to keeping life alive on […]

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Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

IDL wish list: _EXTRA for positional parameters

IDL already contains syntax for passing arbitrary (and perhaps unknown beforehand) keywords to a routine using the _EXTRA and _REF_EXTRA keywords, depending on whether you are passing a variable back to the caller through the keyword. For example, you can do something like this: pro my_wrapper_routine, _extra=e my_routine, _extra=e end Now, MY_WRAPPER_ROUTINE passes all the […]

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Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

IDL wish list: function pointer compatible callbacks

IDL has several places where callback functions are used to provide a mechanism for IDL library routines to call user-defined functions. For example, in curve fitting routines such as CURVEFIT the callback function allows the user to define custom functions that are evaluated by the fitting routine. For many callbacks, this interface is perfectly adequate. […]

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