An Introduction to Programming with IDL

Interactive Data Language


  • Kenneth Bowman, Texas A&M University

In today’s information age, scientists and engineers must quickly and efficiently analyze extremely large sets of data. One of the best tools to accomplish this is Interactive Data Language (IDL®), a programming and visualization environment that facilitates numerical modeling, data analysis, and image processing. IDL’s high-level language and powerful graphics capabilities allow users to write more flexible programs much faster than is possible with other programming languages.An Introduction to Programming with IDL enables students new to programming, as well as those with experience in other programming languages, to rapidly harness IDL’s capabilities: fast, interactive performance; array syntax; dynamic data typing; and built-in graphics. Each concept is illustrated with sample code, including many complete short programs.
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This text can be used in an introductory scientific programming course or as a supplement for advanced science and engineering courses. Researchers and professionals in fields ranging from the earth sciences to physics, engineering, astronomy and medicine will also enjoy using this introduction to IDL for self-paced learning.


Book information

  • Published: December 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-088559-6

Table of Contents

Part I IDL BASICSChapter 1 - IntroductionChapter 2 - IDL Manuals and BooksChapter 3 - Interactive IDLChapter 4 - IDL Scripts (Batch Jobs)Chapter 5 - Integer Constants and VariablesChapter 6 - Floating-Point Constants and VariablesChapter 7 - Using ArraysChapter 8 - Searching and SortingChapter 9 - StructuresPART II INPUT AND OUTPUTChapter 10 - Printing TextChapter 11 - Reading TextChapter 12 - Writing and Reading Binary FilesChapter 13 - Reading NetCDF FilesChapter 14 - Writing NetCDF FilesPART III PROGRAM STRUCTURE AND CONTROLChapter 15 - Procedures and FunctionsChapter 16 - Program ControlPART IV GRAPHICSChapter 17 - Line GraphsChapter 18 - Contour and Surface PlotsChapter 19 - MappingChapter 20 - Printing GraphicsChapter 21 - Color and Image DisplayChapter 22 - AnimationPART V APPLICATIONSChapter 23 - Statistics and Pseudorandom NumbersChapter 24 - InterpolationChapter 25 - Fourier AnalysisAppendix A An IDL Style GuideAppendix B Example Procedures, Functions, Scripts, and Data Files