SIParCS 2020 - Heather "Rose" Craker

Heather "Rose" CrakerPurdue University

Building the Python Equivalent of the NCL Visualization Gallery

(Recorded Talk) | (Slides)

The NCAR command language (NCL) is a programming language designed to provide visualization and analysis tools specifically for atmospheric science. In the mid-2000s, as Python was gaining potential as an open-source language with scientific analysis and visualization features, a few of NCL’s unique capabilities were wrapped into three Python packages. However, maintaining these packages and continuing development for NCL became challenging as the NCL team experienced staffing reductions and decreasing budgets. The decision to pivot to Python was made in response to these challenges, and Python was chosen due to its increasing popularity in the scientific community, vast already available scientific libraries, and open-source nature which allows scientists to play a more active role in the development of the tools they need. The GeoCAT team is now working to add NCL’s core capabilities into Python packages and to rebuild the NCL visualization gallery in Python. This gallery is meant to make the transition to Python easier and to showcase to users the additional features Python has. Much of this summer’s work is focused on generating new examples and adding them to the gallery website. Additionally some necessary contributions were made to the supporting Python packages geocat-viz and geocat-comp. Links to the GeoCAT Visualization Gallery and GitHub repository.


SIParCS Project Partner: Claire Fiorino
Mentors: Julia Kent, John Clyne, Kevin Paul, Orhan Eroglu, Michaela Sizemore