Getting Started with VISTAS Development!

This page was originally written to give undergraduate computer science students ideas for  senior projects working with VISTAS code.  However, it also serves as background for anyone interested in helping maintain or extend VISTAS.

We are looking for collaborating co-developers!
First, familiarize yourself with the VISTAS software

What follows are some ideas for projects:

  1. play around with VISTAS, looking at the most recent user documentation and noting any discrepancies.
  2. refresh your C++ skills – Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C++ (Mark A. Weiss), The C++ Programming Language (Stroustrup), C++ Primer (Lippman), C++ Course (15-20 hrs).
  3. explore VISTAS source code from the repository
  4. make sure you are set up for VISTAS team communication – google group/google email distribution list, setting aside time for online web meetings, ????
  5. familiarize yourself with the science work of our collaborators; read some of their papers, and understand the data that we are visualizing.
  6. start learning your way around openGL. perhaps the best way to do this will be to work thru Jenny Orr’s graphics course and texts: Interactive Computer Graphics: A Top-Down Approach Using OpenGL, 6/E , by Edward Angel and Graphics Shaders: Theory and Practice, by Mike Bailey and Steve Cunningham.
  7. get a bitbucket account, and permissions from nik, and add items to the bug list.
  8. get a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio,available FREE to students (with their .3du account from!) –  which version – 2010 or 2012….
  9. start thinking about your project.

Project Ideas – as background: research state of the art in 3D terrain visualization in CS (and possibly GIS).

  1. expand and enhance the 2D VISTAS.
  2. how might one visualize wind over time at multiple spatial scales?  A digital smoke bomb – fluid dynamics like app?  vector field visualization.
  3. explore VISTAS implementation using webGL, requires writing in JavaScript, but it’s hard to do something big (and fast!) with it.
  4. implement CanopyVIEW into VISTAS (our prior app that was implemented in Java using VTK).
  5. visualization plug-in for Time Extrusion Volumes.
  6. plug-ins for new data types.