I’ve recently discovered ParaView, a tool for visualising data I hadn’t come across before.When it comes to data I guess I’m used to web based stuff. You know the kind of thing, throw something a few triples and watch it generate a Network Graph or the overused D3.js type stuff. Paraview sits in a world I don’t really know well and am having trouble getting my head around it. Still here is a pretty neat example I found on the web

While it might be pretty obvious what the visualisation is doing, I had no how he did it. I asked the author, John Mick who said:

 “I obtained the data for the visualization from NASA JPL’s Telnet Server – using a combination of Python and Expect scripts.  The visualization was designed and rendered to video in ParaView.  All free stuff!”
I think that it is a pretty powerful visualisation, and his explanation gives me a clue of how to go about doing things, I haven’t come across Expect scripts before, which seems like a tool to automate things that use a text based terminal such as Telnet. I guess I’m just used to data coming in a form I can read in R. I didn’t realise telneting in to a server to grab some data was still a thing! Data visualisation is a wide area and I’m finding it hard to know where somebody with the skills I have sits. Doing a Youtube search for Paraview brings up a lot of Blender tutorials. I’ve tried getting in to Blender before, but I’m just not a very visual person and just can’t get the knack.
Categories: Technology


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