An astounding array of available data and models
One of the advantages of using COTS software is that this
provides a wide range of data format input and output.
[Foundry picture source: Library of Congress]
|Data Resources that explore the world of STEM education|
Data highlight: OPeNDaP and THREDDS
The Foundry and the New Media Studio are working to bring thousands of earth-science data sets to potential applications through the use of OPeNDaP file subsetting and retrieval capabilities. A quick look at the OPeNDaP portal on the Global Change Master Directory shows that OPeNDaP is now far more than ocean data. Because the Foundry uses the OPeNDaP IDL client technology, applications built through the Foundry will be able to access any of these resources.
The Foundry is also collaborating with another NSDL project, THREDDS, which will provide a cataloging interface to a wide range of data resources. The Foundry is one of several "thick" client technologies for this effort.
Models and model input and output
Because IDL can run external models, virtually any model that can run on a desktop computer can be incorporated into the the Foundry's application development process.
A new feature for the Foundry comes with the expansion of Director into 3d graphics displays. Macromedia, Inc. and Intel™ have partnered to include the Intel-3D® software in Director. Recently, Alias|Wavefront created a plug-in to Director so that users of its Maya program can export into Director, and through Director to the internet.
This feature means that Foundry applications will have expanded "telepresence" capabilities and other 3- 4D display options that were not available previously. Already, Foundry programmers are finding ways to use the Intel 3D capabilities to add interactivity to Foundry applications.
This points to an additional benefit of working with COTS software: other people are improving the software. There is an active community of code writers and for both IDL and Director. We are a part of a larger effort, and can leverage this knowledge base for the NSDL.
Available Data formats: a complete list
Through the use of IDL®, the Foundry can offer the following data format inputs:
Scientific data formats:
Other data formats: BMP (Microsoft Windows Bitmap)
In Director® virtually all common media file formats can be handled. Director also parses XML.