Volview: A S-Lang Module for Volume Visualization
Volview is an extension module which adds volume visualization capability to the S-Lang interpreter, using the Volpack rendering library and GTK widget set. For example, the above image was rendered in ISIS with
isis> require("volview") isis> volview( fits_read_image("casa_ll1_s12_cube.fits"))It represents an entire FITS datacube generated from the Spitzer observation 3310 of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (courtesy of Tracey Delaney, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics). Volview has also been used to inspect hydrodynamics simulations stored in the HDF5 format, and is routinely used in our volumetric modeling experiments.
Like VWhere, volview is also an example of the notion of a guilet (pronounced "gooey-let"), by which we mean to connote visual interfaces of a small-ish, scriptable nature, that may be easily embedded within -- and launched from -- other programs, even applications with interactive command lines and no ostensible graphical interface (as shown with ISIS above).
Guilets thus fill an important software niche, the middle ground between novice users -- who often argue that visual interfaces make software easier to use -- and power users -- who frequently complain that GUIs are more cumbersome and inflexible than command lines. Moreover, given their scripting heritage, guilets can be more amenable to changing requirements or ad-hoc experimentation and customization by the end-user. This is especially important in the scientific and engineering research arenas.
This page was last updated Mar 10, 2009 by Michael S. Noble. To comment on it or the material presented here, send email to email@example.com.