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Visualization Environments

Show and Tell

Problems and Solutions

Pyramid Exercise


Visualisation in the Social Sciences Workshop

Visualization Environments

Chair - Peter Fisher, University of Leicester In this session a selection of the computing environments that are being used for advanced visualisation in social sciences and humanities were explored.

IRIS Explorer - Jason Wood

Iris Explorer was originally develop by Silicon Graphics, but is now available on several platforms, including SUN, HP, Digital and IBM Workstations and Windows NT. It is a toolkit for visualisation, traditionally used in numeric sciences such as physics. It uses a graphical interface in which users select elements and add them to a graphically represented 'pipeline' or map. All the elements are reusable modules, e.g., data reading, data selection, graphing and rendering. A large library of modules is provided with Explorer, but if the required module is not already available, new modules can be written in Fortran 77, C, C++ and possibly Java in the future.
  • Advanced features of Explorer include:
  • Distributed execution - modules can be run on remote machines
  • Encapsulation of maps - for application building
  • Support for collaboration

AVS and extensions - Steve Larkin

View slides

XLISP STAT - Chris Brunsdon

LiveMap is a freely available spatial data system which has been built on top of Xlisp, a variant of the Lisp programming language.. It can be used for : exploratory data graphics, e.g., two linked graphics, a scatter plot and a map, where highlighting points on the scatter plot automatically highlights the appropriate region on the map. computational spatial analysis - it allows computations to be coded

It combines visualisation and formal modelling.

In addition to the standard objects provided by Lisp, other objects include: points, lines (e.g., for rivers, roads), zones (e.g., census wards)

Xlisp Stat is available from:

Tcl/TK - Jason Dykes

One of the most important aspects of visualisation is the users ability to interact with and explore the data, and increases in computer power have made this possible with much larger data sets.

Tcl is a free scripting language. Scripting languages are easier to use than other programming languages such as C, but ease of use is traded with performance Tk is the companion graphical user interface toolkit to Tcl. Tcl/Tk allows data to be easily explored, for example creating different, linked graphs. Tcl/Tk applications can be encapsulated as stand alone programs.

Tcl/Tk is available from

VR/VRML - Ken Brodlie

Java - Jo Wood

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