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Review of Visualisation Systems

4.3 IBM Data Explorer

4.3.1 - Data readers
4.3.2 - Tools for importing data

4.3.1 Data readers

A number of modules and macros are available via anonymous ftp from the DX repository at Cornell ( under the directory pub/Data.Explorer more details are given after the table.

4.3.2 Tools for importing data

Data Explorer being an object-oriented based systems allows objects to be one of the following classes: group, series, multigrid, compositefield, field, array, constantarray, gridpositions, regulararray, productarray, gridconnections, patharray, mesharray, xform, string, light, camera, clipped, screen.

For the majority of data input, DX relies on a general array importer. A simple text header needs to be created to describe the structure and location of the data then the import module can read in the data directly. To use a graphical interface to define this header, type:

dx -prompter

This interface can import many simple arrays, both binary and ascii. For binary data it is possible to specify whether the data is in most significant byte (MSB) or least significant byte (LSB) first. The 2 common forms of vector interleaving are also supported:

As part of the prompter it is possible to browse through a data file to set marks and determine offsets in bytes or lines which can be useful when describing ascii data. Although the prompter cannot completely describe irregular grids (e.g. FE data) it can be useful to determine some of the description then complete the header by editing the resulting text.

For a more complete guide to the data model see Chapter 3, "Understanding the Data Model" and for importing data into DX see Chapter 4, "Importing Data", from the User's Guide.

Review of Visualisation Systems
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