[Met_help] Re: Graphics tools

John Halley Gotway johnhg at rap.ucar.edu
Fri Oct 26 14:17:46 MDT 2007


At this point we've decided to forgo putting additional graphics capability directly into MET.  We considered writing code to generate plots using the internal MET PostScript library.  However, we
decided against it for two reasons.  First, in order to change anything substantive in the plots, the users would have to go in, modify the code, and recompile.  And second, we'd prefer to focus our
efforts on providing useful statistical tools rather than working on plots.

That being said, we realize how important and helpful it is to have nice plots of your data.  So we're planning to leverage the plotting capability of existing tools (R, NCL, and IDL for example) to
provide that capability.  We're planning to write sample scripts to generate some basic plots.  For example, since I'm most familiar with R, it would be pretty straightforward in R to read a bunch of
VSDB data, stratify based on some user input, and create time series plots of various statistics.  Users would then be able to tweak the plots by tweaking those scripts.  This is the same sort of
approach used for WRF.  We'll make these scripts available via the MET website and will accept and post new scripts created by community members.  However, we haven't really begun work on them yet, so
we won't have any available until at least January.

We should have the next version of the toolkit available by the first of the year - although we're working to make it available sooner than that.  The two main additions are a "vsdb_analysis" and
"mode_analysis" tool for use in post-processing the VSDB output of point_stat and grid_stat, and the ASCII output of mode.  The analysis tools provide some basic ability to aggregate data across
multiple cases, and compute summary information for particular statistics.  They may also be used simply as filters - i.e. you hand it a bunch of data, give it some filtering parameters, and it'll
strip out only the data that meets your search criteria.

In addition, we've tweaked grid_stat, point_stat, and mode slightly.  We hoping to support an ASCII point observation format, but I'm doubting that that'll make it into this release.

Hope that helps.  And please continue to provide us feedback about your experiences with MET and suggestions for improvements and additions.  Does the paradigm of plotting using external tools like R,
NCL, and IDL seem reasonable to you?


Jeff Zielonka wrote:
> Hi John,
> I was just wondering if any decisions have been made about what extra
> graphics tools will be available at the time of the official MET release
> (and when you're planning on that)?.  I have been getting some questions
> here about the graphics, because we have never been able to get NCEP's
> FVS running on our platform, and the MET framework seems to be much more
> friendly.  Thanks!
> - Jeff Z.

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