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Tools for Visualizing Data

The Goddard DAAC provides the following tools to help users visualize data in the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF).

TSDIS Orbit Viewer

The TSDIS Orbit Viewer is a menu-driven graphical interface for dynamically generating images from TRMM HDF files. The viewer can display, at the full instrument resolution, TRMM satellite, Ground Validation, browse, and Coincidence Subsetted Intermediate (CSI) products, as well as other derived products.

The software runs on Microsoft Windows and UNIX.

The source code and installation instructions for the Orbit Viewer are available from the Goddard DAAC's TRMM ftp site (

Please note: TSDIS can provide technical support for the Orbit Viewer only to certain members of the TRMM Science Team. Other users should contact the DAAC's Hydrology Data Support Team (


EOSView is a standalone X-based data visualization tool that displays HDF files. It can be used to view data ordered from the Goddard DAAC. In addition, it provides a secondary mechanism for previewing browse files before ordering data. (The primary mechanism is the preview feature of the TRMM Data Search and Order System.) EOSView serves as a file verification tool. The contents of HDF files are displayed and individual objects can be selected for display. Displayable objects include raster images, data sets in tables, pseudocolor images of data sets, attributes, and annotations. Simple animations can be performed for a file with multiple raster images.

A unique interface has been provided for handling HDF-EOS data structures. The Swath/Point/Grid interface uses only HDF-EOS library calls. EOSView users will not see the underlying HDF structures but will be prompted for what parts of the HDF-EOS object they wish to view. The EOSView requires at least 4 megabytes of memory and a larger than 24-bit graphics board.

Download Instructions for the Software:

These tools can be downloaded via anonymous ftp using a command line ftp client, available on all Unix machines.

The source code, installation instructions, and documentation for EOSView and Orbit Viewer are available from the Goddard DAAC's TRMM ftp site (

The following files should be downloaded for EOSView:

  • EOSView (executable)
  • (help)
  • eosview.uid (user interface description file)
  • eosview.dat (IDL commands file)

How to start EOSView:

Start EOSView by typing 'EOSView' at the command prompt. The current working directory must contain the four EOSView files.

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Last updated: Sep 18, 2009 10:32 AM ET