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An Introduction to Programming with IDL - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780120885596, 9780080489278

An Introduction to Programming with IDL

1st Edition

Interactive Data Language

Author: Kenneth Bowman
Paperback ISBN: 9780120885596
eBook ISBN: 9780080489278
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 14th December 2005
Page Count: 304
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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.

Key Features

  • Margin notes throughout the text quickly point readers to the relevant sections of IDL manuals
  • End-of-chapter summaries and exercises help reinforce learning
  • Students who purchase the book are eligible for a substantial discount on a student version of the IDL software


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.

Table of Contents

Part I IDL BASICS Chapter 1 - Introduction Chapter 2 - IDL Manuals and Books Chapter 3 - Interactive IDL Chapter 4 - IDL Scripts (Batch Jobs) Chapter 5 - Integer Constants and Variables Chapter 6 - Floating-Point Constants and Variables Chapter 7 - Using Arrays Chapter 8 - Searching and Sorting Chapter 9 - Structures

PART II INPUT AND OUTPUT Chapter 10 - Printing Text Chapter 11 - Reading Text Chapter 12 - Writing and Reading Binary Files Chapter 13 - Reading NetCDF Files Chapter 14 - Writing NetCDF Files

PART III PROGRAM STRUCTURE AND CONTROL Chapter 15 - Procedures and Functions Chapter 16 - Program Control

PART IV GRAPHICS Chapter 17 - Line Graphs Chapter 18 - Contour and Surface Plots Chapter 19 - Mapping Chapter 20 - Printing Graphics Chapter 21 - Color and Image Display Chapter 22 - Animation

PART V APPLICATIONS Chapter 23 - Statistics and Pseudorandom Numbers Chapter 24 - Interpolation Chapter 25 - Fourier Analysis

Appendix A An IDL Style Guide Appendix B Example Procedures, Functions, Scripts, and Data Files


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© Academic Press 2005
14th December 2005
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Kenneth Bowman

Affiliations and Expertise

Texas A&M University

Ratings and Reviews