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Why PVGeo?

PVGeo is an open-source Python package for geoscientific visualization and analysis harnessing an already powerful software platform: the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) and its front-end application, ParaView. The VTK software platform is well-maintained, contains an expansive set of native functionality, and provides a robust foundation for scientific visualization, yet the development of tools compatible for geoscience data and models has been very limited. As a software extension package to VTK and ParaView, PVGeo addresses the lack of geoscientific compatibility by creating a framework for geo-visualization. This framework is a set of tools for visually integrating geoscience data and models directly within ParaView’s graphical user interface, simplifying the required routines to make compelling visualizations of geoscientific datasets. The PVGeo package is available for download on PyPI (pip install PVGeo), documented on this website, and open-source on GitHub for community-driven developments.

About the Project

This code base is full of plugins and macros for the open-source, multi-platform, data analysis, and visualization application ParaView by Kitware. These plugins are tailored to the visualization of spatially referenced data in the geosciences, especially geophysics. The overarching goal of this project is to develop set of codes to visually integrate post-processed data for more intuitive visualization. To make more intuitive visualizations, we think it is necessary to reference data in relation to features like topography, well locations, survey points, or other known features that are easier to spatially grasp.

This code base deploys tools to perform post-processing visual analysis and interpretation of geophysical data and models and we hope that geophysicists will gain an ability to represent their 3D spatially referenced data intuitively to interested parties and stakeholders. By integrating the visualization of various data, and creating a sort of visual data fusion, interested parties will gain insight into the value of the information in their models. Through visual integration, we try to mimic the reality of the space in which data was acquired so that it will hold meaning to anyone that immerses into the visualization regardless of background.

Outline of Goals

  • Develop and document geoscientific plugins for ParaView encompassed in various suites. Each suite of plugins will be tailored to specific data formats and/or processing needs in geoscience. These plugins will take advantage of ParaView and VTK’s Python wrapping and use the Python Programmable Filter in ParaView. The advantage to using Python Programmable filters is that they are easily modified by the end user and can be wrapped in XML to create a GUI for its use in ParaView while having the option to directly edit the source code live in ParaView. The suites of plugins will consist of the following plugin types:

    • Readers: A reader puts data from files into proper ParaView data structures on the pipeline. These are plugins that read common geoscientific and geophysical spatial data files (GSLIB, UBC Tensor and OcTree meshes, etc.). Also make readers that read common raw data files (packed binary floats, delimited ASCII, etc.)

    • Filters: A filter modifies, transforms, combines, analyses, etc. data on the ParaView pipeline. Plugins that perform post-processing analysis of geoscientific data for visualization. For example, filters that build tubes from a series of points that represent a tunnel or filters that take a 1D array, reshape it to 2D or 3D, and make a volumetric model ready for visualization all while adding spatial reference for visual integration.

    • Sources: Plugins that create simple synthetic data sources that could be used for model generation. We are creating a suite of plugins for generating various types of discretized models/meshes which can be exported. Another example could include a sphere or cube with a specified attribute like a spatially varying density or electrical conductivity. Other sources might include using that synthetic sphere or cube to make a volumetric field of some response. These plugins will tailor to the educational needs in applications of this code base.

  • Develop and document the PVGeo and pvmacros Python modules for use in ParaView’s Python Shell. These modules will contain all of the macros, batch processing tasks, and common codes to apply to 3D data scenes.

    • The PVGeo module will hold all of the code used in the plugins so that shared features across plugins can be called rather the rewritten and so that we can version control the plugins. This module will be primarily for use in the plugins scripts and not necessary for use in the ParaViewPython shell.

    • The pvmacros module with be full of macros and other data-independent scripts that can be used directly in the ParaViewPython shell.

  • Make tutorials on the use of the tools provided by this repository as well as share how to use ParaView’s native features on open source data (for example):

  • Develop customizable scripts for the visualization of common data formats. This will include developing scripts on an individual basis to help others quickly visualize their data and models for quality assessment and unique research needs.

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