IDL is the trusted scientific programming language used across disciplines to create meaningful visualisations out of complex numerical data. From small-scale analysis programs to widely deployed applications, IDL provides the comprehensive computing environment you need to effectively get information from your data.
IDL 8 introduces significant improvements to simplify your data analysis and visualisation workflow. New graphic functions are more powerful, making it easy to produce dynamic, presentation-quality, visual representations of your data for display and publication. In addition, the core IDL programming language is now easier to use so you can create programs and applications faster than ever before. And, the IDL 8 workbench programming environment has been streamlined so it's easier to create small programs and large-scale applications.
To better understand your complex numerical and statistical data, you need a programming tool that allows you to easily produce meaningful, sophisticated visualisations of your data. The IDL graphic functions introduced in IDL 8 combine the advantages of the popular, visually appealing object graphics with the programming simplicity of direct graphics, giving you the ability to quickly produce presentation-quality results.
Whether you're creating 2-dimensional plots, graphs, maps, and image displays or complex, interactive 3-dimensional representations, IDL 8 allows you to quickly make on-the-fly adjustments to individual graphic elements without reprogramming or regenerating your entire visualisation. These interactive and dynamic new capabilities will save you time and effort, while allowing you to produce the high quality output that you need.
The IDL graphics include:
The IDL 8 language powering the IDL graphics system makes it easy to create dynamic graphic visualisations, ranging from 2-dimensional plots, graphs, maps, and image displays to complex, interactive 3-dimensional representations. Here, IDL code was used to visualise a 3-dimensional surface plot of Legendre Polynomials.
IDL has always been a popular choice among scientists and application developers because it's easy to learn, easy to use, and requires fewer lines of code than most programming languages. In IDL 8, the core language has been enhanced to make developing programs and applications fast and easy.
The enhanced IDL 8 language introduces many improvements to help you get from data to discovery with your complex data easier and faster than before. New programming features, including additional data types, control structures, and a simplified syntax, make it easier to code your programs and applications while requiring even fewer lines of code. In addition, IDL 8 is fully compatible with code written in previous releases, so you don't need to recreate your programs or visualisations.
New language features include:
File and output support
In the example above, six lines of IDL code are used to sharpen an image of fungus, display the before and after images, and save the sharpened image to a directory.
IDL 8 provides you with a powerful and robust analysis engine, so you can get the specific statistical and numerical information you need from your data.
Image Processing and Map Projections with IDL
If you need to convert raw images to information, IDL contains an extensive library of image processing and analysis routines. IDL alllows you to extract useful information from nearly any type of digital image with tools for transforming image geometry, mapping, masking and statistics, warping, analysing regions of interest, and contrasting and filtering.
Math and Statistical Routines in IDL
If you need to quickly add advanced mathematical and statistical functionality to an IDL application, the IDL Advanced Math and Stats Module is an add-on solution that combines advanced data visualisation and analysis capabilities with the comprehensive mathematical and statisical routines of the IMSL™ C Numerical Library - a set of pre-written mathematical and statistical algorithms that can be embedded into your program.
If you are creating ad hoc visualisations or engineering large, widely deployed applications, you need a programming environment that is intuitive so you can produce professional results as quickly as possible. The new development environment in IDL 8 is simple to navigate and makes advanced, modern programming tools easy to find and readily available.
The IDL workbench interface is now simplified and streamlined, allowing you to create visualisations on-the-fly or develop feature-rich scientific applications to distribute commercially or to your colleagues. Regardless of your application, IDL 8 provides the feature-rich development tools you need, allowing you to easily access the scientific visualisation and data analysis power you've come to depend on from IDL.
The updated IDL workbench provides you with:
IDL 8 has an intuitive interface that provides easy access to the programming tools and buttons you use most.