3D visualization software now available for Mac users
April 2005. The Numerical Algorithms Group's IRIS Explorer Release 5.2, the most advanced and best-supported visualization application development environment that is used by a wide range of scientific researchers, is now available on the Mac OS X platform. IRIS Explorer is one of the first modular, multi-purpose visualization environments for Mac users.
NAG's IRIS Explorer is a system for visualization of scientific data that incorporates a visual programming interface that enables users to build applications from software building blocks, or modules. The modular design of the IRIS Explorer system facilitates maximum flexibility in visualization development because researchers can, within seconds, try several ways to convert numerical data into different types of pictures. The 'point and click' application development environment shortens the time needed to develop and prototype applications that meet their organization's specific needs. The IRIS Explorer distribution includes hundreds of modules; in addition, users can add new functionality to the system by writing their own modules using the development tools provided. The 3D visualizations created by IRIS Explorer can be manipulated in real time and are ideal for displaying scientific data from chemistry, physics and other disciplines, together with engineering data from finite-element modeling and CFD. More recently, IRIS Explorer has also been applied to other areas, such as the visualization of financial data.
The modular architecture and multi-platform availability of IRIS Explorer makes it easy to distribute applications across a network that can consist of a variety of platforms (besides Mac OS X, IRIS Explorer runs on Windows, Linux, SGI, Sun, HP and IBM systems). In addition, IRIS Explorer is especially useful in research projects that require tools for collaborative (or multi-user) visualization, since it allows researchers to share a visualization pipeline with users on other machines in a heterogeneous network.
Mark Stoermer (Director, Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington, College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences), is one of many longstanding IRIS Explorer users who asked NAG to add Mac OS X to their list of supported platforms. Stoermer explains, "We use the Mac extensively for graphic development and other visualization applications that are central to our work. IRIS Explorer has been very important to our ability to do rapid prototyping of earth science visualizations. We look forward to continuing to use IRIS Explorer and will soon develop an earth science visualization server running IRIS Explorer on a Mac in conjunction with Apple's QuickTime Streaming Server that will help us develop new earth science image streams on dynamic web pages."
Jeremy Walton, Senior Visualization Consultant for the Numerical Algorithms Group, comments that the Mac OS X release of IRIS Explorer was developed in response to worldwide requests. "Because NAG's IRIS Explorer is such a powerful data visualization tool and yet so easy to use, it has long been in use by a wide range of scientific research projects across the globe. Many scientists are now using their Macs for research, and so we received numerous requests to create this version of IRIS Explorer for Mac OS X."
Rob Meyer, CEO of NAG further adds, "We are very committed to creating Mac platform versions of the full range of NAG technical software products. In addition to this release of IRIS Explorer, NAG offers Mac users a complete range of tools for producing scientific and analytical applications, including math, statistical, and data mining component libraries and Fortran compilers."
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