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Re: [Help-gsl] Data Visualization

From: Martin Jansche
Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] Data Visualization
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 20:06:21 -0500

On 12/13/05, James Bergstra <address@hidden> wrote:

> Thank you, do you know if GnuPlot
> - can be controlled from another process

Yes. Gnuplot is fully scriptable and can read from stdin. If you want
to run it as a child process, write your data to a temporary file,
then open a one-way pipe to gnuplot and send it commands through the

> - could plot matrices of data as images (taking each cell as a pixel?)

Kind of. It can be done, though gnuplot isn't specifically designed to
do that. Nothing that a little wrapper script couldn't cure. The basic
idea is to view the matrix as a collection of 3d points and to use
gnuplot's 3d plotting routines.  First, make a "pseudo 3d bar graph"
as described here:

Then color the surface (this requires gnuplot 4.0), switch off the
surface grid, and rotate the view so that you're looking at the
surface straight from above. That's the gist of it; I can dig up some
code if that would help.

Alternatively, it should also be easy to generate a PPM file directly
from a matrix in C. If there's already a good tool for that, please
-- mj

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