An advanced, three-dimensional plotting library for astronomy

David G. Barnes, Christopher J. Fluke, Paul D. Bourke, Owen T. Parry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


We present a new, three-dimensional (3D) plotting library with advanced features, and support for standard and enhanced display devices. The library ? s2plot ? is written in c and can be used by c, c++, and fortran programs on GNU?Linux and Apple?OSX systems. s2plot draws objects in a 3D (x,y,z) Cartesian space and the user interactively controls how this space is rendered at run time. With a pgplot-inspired interface, s2plot provides astronomers with elegant techniques for displaying and exploring 3D data sets directly from their program code, and the potential to use stereoscopic and dome display devices. The s2plot architecture supports dynamic geometry and can be used to plot time-evolving data sets, such as might be produced by simulation codes. In this paper, we introduce s2plot to the astronomical community, describe its potential applications, and present some example uses of the library.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalogs
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Surveys
  • Techniques: miscellaneous

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