The VisAD Tutorial

How to use this Tutorial

This tutorial introduces some basic features of VisAD  in order to allow you to start programming with VisAD straight away. We assume no previous knowledge of the library itself, but an understanding of the Java® Programming Language is assumed. We shall not, however, need to go very deep into Java. In order to run the examples (and to later do your own development), you will need to install the VisAD package, and the Java2 and Java3D software (see the VisAD Prerequistes for more details).

Starting with a very simple example, we will explain how to create visualization programs for complex data structures.  The reader should follow the basic tutorial steps, in order to maximize the understanding of VisAD and to learn how different displays can be created, as each step introduces a new feature.

The reader may, however, make use of the Index of Figures, where the program screenshots are listed and which serves as a visual reference guide on how to change display attributes and visualize data in different ways. The Index of Figures also includes links to the sections and to the program code, which is completely available.

The Table of Contents lists the  sections and sub-sections and also is useful as an overview of both the tutorial and of VisAD capabilities.

The most important source of information about VisAD is the VisAD Java Component Library Developers Guide, which provides a complete description of VisAD. Other documentation includes:

You may also join the VisAD mailing list. To subscribe to it send an email message to with
subscribe visad-list
as the first line of the message body. You can also subscribe to visad-list-digest if you only want a daily summary of messages to visad-list. To unsubscribe, send email to with
unsubscribe visad-list
as the first line of the message body.

The VisAD mailing list is the best way to get some help. But before posting a message make sure your question hasn't been answered. For that check out Unidata's visad-list archive.

You might also want to study the example applications in the sub-directory visad/examples, which handle more complex issues. In the sub-directory visad/examples run "java DisplayTest" which will generate a list of the examples.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email the author.

Here you'll find a list of things to do and credits.

The VisAD Tutorial and its code is Copyright of Ugo Taddei

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