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TOPCAT V2.0 Released

  • Friday, February 03 2006 @ 07:14 PM GMT
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VO News

Mark Taylor has announced the release of TOPCAT V2.0. A full description of the many graphics upgrades is included in the announcement below, or the project web page. TOPCAT is a tabular data viewer and editor and one of the only projects to survive the Starlink shutdown. I'm a big fan and recommend it for your FITS bintables every bit as much as VOTable xml.

From: Mark Taylor 	

Dear VO,

This is to announce the release of TOPCAT v2.0.

This version features major graphics upgrades.  Headline features:

 - More plot types:
     To join the existing 2-d scatter plot window there are now the
     following plot types:

       - Histogram
       - 3-d Cartesian scatter plot
       - 3-d spherical polar plot with optional radial axis
            (good for sky coverage visualisation)
       - 2-d density map (i.e. 2-d histogram)

     The 3-d functionality does not require any 3-d toolkit such as
     Java3D or OpenGL to work, the only requirement is any old
     J2SE 1.4 or 1.5 JVM.

 - Multi-dataset/multi-table plotting
     All the graphics windows now let you plot data from different tables,
     or from different sets of columns, on the same plot.  You can
     have as many of each type of window open as you like.

 - Transparent pixels/density map plotting
     The density map, and the new translucent symbol features of the
     2-d and 3-d scatter plots, provide a lot more visual information
     about crowded plots with many points, since you can now see how
     many points fall in a pixel rather than just that the pixel is

 - Plotting styles
     All the plots allow you detailed control over how
     points/bars/whatever are plotted - colours, shapes, line styles,
     transparency etc.  Each style can be edited independently of
     the others.

 - Line drawing & linear correlation
     The 2d scatter plot calculates and displays regression lines and/or
     straight lines connecting points.

 - Manual axis configuration
     As well as zooming you can select the range to be plotted
     explicitly by typing it in.

 - Plotting performance
     2d scatter plots now require considerably less memory and CPU time
     than before.  Depending on how it's stored, a million row initial
     plot may take around 15 sec and a replot around 1 sec.

... and more.

The release is available in various forms from the TOPCAT web page:


You can also find comprehensive documentation and plenty of screenshots

User feedback of any kind is most welcome.


Mark Taylor   Astronomical Programmer   Physics, Bristol University, UK
m.b.taylor@bris.ac.uk +44-117-928-8776 http://www.star.bris.ac.uk/~mbt/
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