Production of quality graphics from numerical data

Paul Boughton
ITT Visual Information Solutions (ITT VIS) is releasing IDL 8.0, the latest version of its scientific programming language for creating high-quality, meaningful visualisations from complex numerical data. IDL is used by scientists, researchers, engineers and professionals to create a range of data analysis and visualisation ranging from small analysis programs to widely deployed software applications. IDL 8.0 introduces significant improvements to make it even easier to analyse and visualise data, including a powerful new graphics system, an enhanced and expanded programming language, and a streamlined development environment.
Beau Legeer, director of product management for ITT VIS, comments: "The goal behind IDL development has always been to provide a powerful, yet easy to use, programming environment that allows users to focus on the work at hand, and not on a complex, time-consuming programming tool to analyse data. IDL 8.0 is focused on this goal more than ever, and makes it easier and faster for users of any experience level to interpret data, but now in a modern, streamlined environment that delivers powerful new programming and graphics features and functionality."
The most notable enhancement in IDL 8.0 is a dynamic new graphics system that enables users to more easily produce meaningful, presentation-quality graphics - such as 2D and 3D plots, graphs and maps - from virtually any type of numerical data. The system is both interactive and dynamic, and provides the capability to quickly make on-the-fly adjustments to individual graphic elements, which saves significant time and effort. ITT VIS says the new graphics system is powered by an improved language syntax that saves time and effort by requiring fewer lines of code to produce high-quality graphics when compared with other popular programming languages. Additionally, the IDL workbench development environment is now easier to navigate and more intuitive. The streamlined environment makes it easy to access advanced, modern programming tools while creating on-the-fly visualisations, or feature-rich scientific applications to distribute commercially or to colleagues.
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