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Importing Data

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Data Location

The location of the data that will be used in a visualization is important to consider before the data is actually loaded.

ParaViewGeo state files save location information for all data loaded during a session. If a state file is used on several workstations, there is a need for a consistent directory tree so everyone uses the same path names to locate files. If everyone uses a different drive letter for shared network drives, loading the state file will generate an error message and the affected datasets cannot be used.

Another situation might include moving the data to a different computer, in which case it should be set up using the same directory structure to keep the state files intact.

For image files, there is an extra consideration. When an image is loaded, the texture of the image is made available in the Apply Texture drop-down on the Display tab of the Object Inspector, so that this texture can be applied to other objects. If the image is removed from the Pipeline Browser, the information is still stored in the state file (even if the state is not actually saved until after the image is removed from the pipeline). If that image is moved, renamed or deleted, an warning message displays when that state is re-loaded. This message can be ignored and all other aspects will still load correctly, but the message will display every time the state is used.

As of version 1.4.14, you have the option of removing a texture, so that the state file does not retain the image reference (see the Object Inspector page for more information), but otherwise there is no easy way to update a state file to remove or change information related to datasets.

Note: This does not apply if you are working with raw data without creating a state file, though loading data files from the Recent Files section will display a warning if the data has been moved, renamed or deleted, and that entry is then removed from the Recent Files list.


Importing Data

A visualization cannot be created without data, so there are several ways of bringing data into ParaViewGeo.

  1. Use the Sources menu to create geometric primitives
  2. Load the data using the Open option in the File menu
  3. Load a State file
  4. Use the Recent Files list
  5. Write a Python script that reads the file

Using Sources

The Sources menu is usually only used when a marker or a plane is required in the dataset. An example would be the creation of a plane as a support for an image.

To create an object, select the object type from the list in the Sources menu. The parameters for the object can be changed in the Object Inspector before clicking the Apply button to create the object.

More information about creating objects is found on the Sources page.


Loading data using File > Open

ParaViewGeo supports a multitude of readers that can load files of various types. For a list of supported file types, see the Supported Readers.

To load the data, click on File > Open ( or Ctrl+O) to display the Open File dialog box, then browse to the location and select the file to open. Multiple files can be selected by holding down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and clicking on each file. Once the required files are highlighted, click on OK.

The datasets appear in the Pipeline Browser with bolded titles, but are not yet visible in the View Manager. The properties associated with each dataset are displayed in the Object Inspector. Depending on the type of object, you can chose which dataset properties you want included in the visual representation. Click on the Apply button in the Object Inspector to display the data in the View Manager’s render window.

Please note that importing images uses up a lot of memory. Instead of loading an image file, it is possible to load a texture of the image instead, and this texture can be applied to objects in the render view. For instance, the image texture could be applied to a plane. If you do import an image, the texture is automatically added to the Apply Texture drop-down in the Object Inspector, and will remain there even if the image is removed from the pipeline. Textures can be removed as of version 1.4.14 using the Object Inspector.

If you want to load an image that should be referenced geographically, please refer to the next section on Image Geo-referencing.

Although ParaViewGeo comes with a CSV Reader to load comma separated value files, this reader only supports 2-dimensional plotting and will not draw any links. The extension on the *.csv file needs to be changed to select the right reader. To load a point set, the file extension needs to be changed to *.psf (for Point Set File), and line sets are supported as Line Network files using *.lnr file extensions (*.lnr is not supported in all builds). Refer to the CSV Tutorial for additional information.


Loading a State file

State files are used to save the representation of data, including any properties and filters that have been set for the data. The state file also contains the locations of all the datasets that are a part of the file (an error message displays if a file has been moved to a different location). Loading a state file will load all associated datasets, slides, apply filters, set preferences, and display the visualization that was represented when the state was last saved.

To load a state file, click on File > Load State (or Ctrl+Shift+O) to display the Open Server State File dialog box, then browse to the location of the state file (*.pvsm). Select the file and click on OK. All the readers, sources and filters contained in the state are loaded into the Pipeline Browser and any visible objects display in the View Manager (when a state file is loaded, there is no need to Apply the objects in the Object Inspector).

Note: State files can also be loaded from the Open File dialog box; the advantage to using the Open Server State File is that only *.pvsm files will display, making it easier to find the correct file.


Recent Files

ParaViewGeo’s File menu contains a Recent Files list to speed up the process of locating and loading data that has been previously opened.

The Recent Files list displays the last 10 files that have been opened using the Open, Load State or Recent Files options. The server on which the files are stored appears at the top of the list, identified by a server icon. State files appear just below the server name and are identified with the ParaView logo. Recently loaded data files appear in the lower part of the list.

If a file selected from the Recent Files list no longer exists (or has been moved or renamed), an error message displays in the Output Messages window and the entry is removed from the Recent Files list.



Using Python

Python scripting is available for advanced users and can be used to write a script that will read a file. This might be required if no plugin exists for a specific file format, and a Programmable Source needs to be created.

Most of the Python scripts that have been created by our developers have been converted to built-in features of ParaViewGeo, increasing the list of plugins (and therefore file types) supported.

Note: This documentation does not cover the python language or the creation of scripts. A link to the official python website is available on the Help page.



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