SIParCS 2020 - Claire Fiorino
Building the Python Equivalent of the NCL Visualization Gallery
In order to facilitate NCAR’s transition from NCAR Command Line Language (NCL) to Python, the GeoCAT team has been working on expanding the GeoCAT example plot gallery (GeoCAT Visualization Gallery), and the GeoCAT-viz utility function library (GeoCAT-viz Github Repository). Because there are some limitations to the python language, we have been working on creating utility functions that emulate the plotting functionality that NCL has. Functions in the GeoCAT-viz library are capable of extracting features from the data, changing aesthetic qualities of the plot, and altering how data is plotted on a graph. Scientists can make calls to these high-level utility functions, which decreases the amount of “boilerplate code” in their visualization scripts. These functions also make code more human-readable, which is beneficial to scientists who are novice programmers. Because python is an open-source language, if certain NCL features cannot be replicated using a utility function, it is possible to add those features through upstream contributions to the python libraries themselves. Contributions made this summer have brought the GeoCAT team closer to its goal of increasing the popularity of python in the scientific community.
SIParCS Project Partner: Rose Craker
Mentors: John Clyne, Julia Kent, Kevin Paul, Orhan Eroglu, Michaela Sizemore