Interactive Data Language is a complete
(and a well known package in astrophysics, medicine and earth science) for the interactive
reduction, analysis, and visualization of scientific data and images. Optimized for the
PC, Macintosh, and workstation environments, IDL integrates a responsive array oriented
language with numerous data analysis methods and an extensive variety of two and three
dimensional displays into a powerful tool for researchers.
Some hot IDL links
The V5.1, IDL internal documentation.
FAQ site (last updated June 2000). The most frequently asked
questions posted to newsgroup comp.lang.idl-pvwave
for IDL and PV-WAVE. Old messages from comp.lang.idl-pvwave
are archived at google.com.
IDL Plotting Widgets: Fanning's MPI_PLOT
package is a object-oriented interactive wrapper for many PLOT
keywords. The FUSE group in Paris has written Xiplot
which can read a FITS binary table and allows some spectral
manipulation. Paul van Delst has written WPLOT
and WOPLOT which display resizable and zoomable graphics. The
function_1d.pro program in the TARA
package includes fitting and shifting procedures. The XPLOT
widget from ESRF allows for data analysis of X-Y plots, and is
available upon request. Older plotting widgets include the
by James Tappin (U. of Birmingham) which was last updated (Version
2.02) June 1999.
Hopkins U.) APL/S1R IDL Information Page
Ray Sterner runs this Web site at the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
which includes several IDL tutorials, and a pointer to the large JHU/APL/S1R
IDL Library. Last updated 19 Feb 2001.
Liam Gumley's IDL
Library IDL library at the Wisconsin Univ. includes procedures
for handling colors, pointers, binary I/O, and image display. Last
updated 28 August 2000. Liam has also written a book about Practical
IDL Programming Mark
Hadfield's IDL Library This IDL library in New Zealand contains several plotting &
animation Object Graphics classes, a couple of netCDF file classes.
Requires IDL 5.5. Last updated 27 Mar 2002.
Ron Kling Consulting
This site is probably most useful for its C code available as DLM (dynamically
linked modules) to enhance IDL capabilities. Ronn Kling is the author
of the books "Application Development with IDL" and "Calling
C from IDL"
Mallozzi's IDL Library This IDL library at Marshall Space Flight Center includes procedures
for widget, objects, and pointers.
Markwardt's IDL Library This IDL library at the University of Wisconsin includes many
well-documented plotting, utility, ephemeris, mathematics and robust
curve-fitting procedures. Last updated 2 May 2002.
Mati Meron's IDL Library
This IDL Library FTP site at the University of Chicago is good place
to look for special mathematical functions. Last updated September
Schultz's IDL Library.
IDL library at the Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie was
developed for atmospheric science applications, but includes many
well-documented IDL utilities. Also include links and search pages for
11 other public IDL libraries. Last updated; August 2001.
TeXtoIDL Software This software translates the TeX character set into the (often
obscure) IDL plotting symbol codes. Updated for V5.3 in November 2001.
IDL Library This IDL library at Columbia University Astrophysics Laboratory
includes useful procedures for plotting, curve fitting, and image
analysis. Also includes IMD, a widget tool for analysis of optical
multilayers. Last updated September 2000
IDLWAVE - Gnu IDL Emacs Mode
The Emacs mode for IDL is maintained by JD Smith at Cornell
University. Version 4.12 was released in January 2002.
IDL on the Web A collection of perl scripts and HTML forms to demonstrate the use
of IDL as a graphics engine to generate on-the-fly GIF images on the
World Wide Web. Last updated July 30, 1997.
IDL Wavelet Software: C. Torrence & G. Campo's Practical
Guide to Wavelet Analysis with applications in geophysics, and
include some IDL software. A. Graps's Wavelet
workbench in IDL, which is adapted from the MATLAB Wavelab
software, and which is available in the RSI Directory of User-Contributed
software . Also, Multi Resolutions Ltd. sells a software package
for Multiresolution Analysis
includes about 5000 lines of IDL code. Note that since IDL V5.3 has
had an optional Wavelet
Search engines on IDL routines at:
Pages with lists of IDL related links at:
IDL ftp links:
Astrophysics specific IDL Software Sites
Education and Instruction Astronomy IDL Pages
Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) Software:
(Advanced Camera for Surveys) analysis software The ACS was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope in March 2002.
The calibration team IDL software includes procedures for spreadsheet
and sound file manipulation along with calibration image analysis.
- AOred Adaptive
Optics reduction package AOred is an IDL package written by Jason Marshall and Mitchell Troy
at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) for the reduction of images
obtained with PALAO - the Adaptive Optics System for the Palomar
200" Telescope. Last updated January 2000.
- ASCA (Advanced
Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics) reduction software
An informal set of IDL routines for reduction of ASCA and AXAF data
written by Andy Ptak at Carnegie Mellon & Tahir Yaqoob at Goddard
Space Flight Center. Last updated February 1998.
- AIT (Astronomical
Institute of Tübingen) IDL software The AIT Library includes IDL procedures for analyzing X-ray
astronomy data, and provides a nice up-to-date interface to the IDL
Astronomy Library. It also provides access to the TRIPP (Time Resolved
Imaging PHotometry Package) software, and to procedures for
- ATV Image Display
Tool ATV is an image display widget written by Aaron Barth (CalTech),
that is modeled after the SAOimage display package. The current
version is 1.3, last modified 28-Nov-2000 and includes astronomical
coordinate tracking, radial profile plots, choice of coordinate
systems, and the ability to read FITS extensions.
- Big Bear Observatory
FITS & JPEG Display Software Contains the IDL widget program BBSOFITS to display and process FITS
and JPEG images. Last updated November 1997.
- CHIANTI: A
Database for Astrophysical Emission Line Spectroscopy CHIANTI consists of a suite of IDL programs and a database of atomic
data for calculating synthetic spectra in the region between 50 A and
1100 A. This site at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) includes
extensive documentation. Version 3.03 was released December 2001. The Package
for Interactive Analysis of Line Emission (PINTofALE) at the
Harvard Center for Astrophysics (CFA) uses CHIANTI for the analysis of
spectroscopic data from optically-thin coronal plasmas. Last updated
07 December 2001.
IDLAstro Contrib directories
- Three of the four instruments on GRO include IDL in their data
reduction packages. The WINGSPAN
(WINdows Gamma SPectral Analysis) software was written primarily
in IDL to analyze data from the Burst and Transient Source Experiment
(BATSE). The IGORE
(Interactive GRO/OSSE Reduction Environment) FTP site contains IDL
data analysis software for the OSSE (Oriented Scintillation
Spectrometer Experiment). The SKYMAP
package contains IDL software for analyzing Energetic Gamma-Ray
Experiment Telescope (EGRET) maps.
K IDL User's Library This is a collection of general purpose and high energy astrophysics
routines written by members of the particle astrophysics group at the
Stanford Linear Accelerator. A good site for mathematics and
V5.0 Software This IDL software package developed by D. Thilker (NMSU, 2000 AJ,
120, 3070 ) is designed for accurate photometric characterization of H
II regions while permitting genuine adaptivity to irregular source
morphology. HIIphot utilizes object recognition techniques to make a
first guess at the shapes of all sources and then allows for departure
from such idealized ``seeds'' through an iterative growing procedure.
Microwave Background Analysis Software
- /beck the
neural network classifier procedure nnet.pro and training program
object-oriented display widgets XCTV, XCTV2, XCTVN for roaming,
zooming, scaling and examining pixel values in one, two or many images
(last updated 11-Dec-2001).
ROBLIB, a set of mathematical and statistical procedures for
robust data analysis
- /knight LOOK
- a (large) widget image display program
Programs for converting between IDL V4 parenthesis and V5 brackets.
TCTOOL - a widget for optimizing a true-color image
a package from Joe Harrington (Cornell) giving a variety of 2-d
bad pixel interpolation methods
Space Observatory (ISO) software The Instrument Definition Teams for ISO developed their interactive
analysis software in IDL, and the software and documentation can be
accessed from the ISO Data Center in VillaFranca, Spain. Access to the
ISO software in the U.S. is available from the Infrared
Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) . The ISO
Spectral Analysis Package (ISAP) was last updated March 11, 2002
(V3.0). The LWS
Interactive Analysis (LIA) package was last updated Nov 1, 2001
(V10). The ISOPHOT
Interactive Analysis Package (PIA) was last updated Jan 9, 2001
- LACOSMIC (LAplacian
COSMIC ray identification) software LACOSMIC (Van Dokkum 2001, PASP, 113, 1420) is an algorithm for
robust cosmic ray identification using Laplacian edge detection. IDL
code is included at Peter van Dokkum's CalTech website for the case of
- Marc Buie's Astronomy
IDL software (CCDPHOT, ITOOL) Includes the IDL widget programs CCDPHOT to process CCD data, and
ITOOL for general image processing, which were developed at Lowell
Observatory for the processing of solar system CCD images. Contains
many useful IDL procedures for astronomical analysis
Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) IDL Software
- The analysis software for the COsmic
Background Explorer (COBE) was primarily written in IDL and
includes extensive documentation. Version 4.1 of this software was
released in June 1999. More recently, the COMBAT (Cosmic Microwave
Background Analysis Tools) Collaboration has developed FORECAST
(FOREgrounds and CMB Anisotropy Simulation Tools), an IDL package
to selectively display IRAS/DIRBE data.
The HEALPIX (Hierarchical
Equal Area isoLatitude Pixelisation) collaboration includes IDL
software for fast and accurate statistical and astrophysical analysis
of full-sky data sets (Version 1.10 updated March 2000).
Expansion (MGE) Fits to Galaxies An IDL package MGE_FIT_SECTORS written by Michele Cappellari (Leiden
Observatory), including examples and instructions, to obtain an
efficient MGE parameterization for a galaxy surface brightness.
(Near Infrared Camera & Multi-Object Spectrometer) Software Site
at the University of Arizona. Includes widget tools for general
image display (NICLOOK, IDP3), to edit headers of groups of FITS files
(FHE), to examine multi-extension FITS files (FITSTOOL), Lucy
deconvolution (LUCY), and to subtract a PSF. Additional software is
available at the Space
Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) NICMOS Page including
the widget image display program NICMOSLOOK for manual extraction of
grism images, and the program CalnicC for automated extractions.
- PIXON software
distribution site The pixon image reconstruction technique has been widely used in
astronomy, and IDL source code implementing an early version of this
algorithm is available upon request.
Bodies Node (SBN) at the University of Maryland IDL procedures for reading images and tables in the Planetary Data
System (PDS) format. Last updated 19-Jul-2001.
Ultraviolet Spectral Analysis Software
- Some researchers from SDSS institutions keep their analysis software
for SDSS images and spectra publicly available. Eric Scott Sheldon
maintains the U.
of Michigan IDL SDSS library . The IDL
SDSS software at Princeton can be downloaded as tar files, and
documentation is available for the IDLSPEC2D
- Solar Software Library
Includes a very large number of general and solar-related IDL
procedures accessible via FTP
. Search pages for these procedures are available at the Yohkoh
Web Page at Lockheed and the SOHO
search page . Also, Dominic Zarro has written IDL code using object
oriented methods for analyzing solar images, and a guide to using
IDL Sockets to manipulate files over a Web server.
software STARFINDER is a well-documented widget package at the Osservatorio
Astronomico di Bologna for obtaining high-precision astrometry and
photometry of crowded stellar fields. Requires IDL V5.0 or later.
Astronomy IDL Collection Stuart Colley at University College London (UCL) makes available
some of his IDL software dealing with astronomical spectra, including
procedures for merging echelle orders, Fourier CLEANing, and temporal
variance spectrum (TVS) analysis. Last updated: 16 May 2001.
Imaging Telescope (UIT) software
- The UIT image display software for the was a precursor to the IDL
Astronomy Library, but has some additional routines for image display
and astrometry. Last updated in 1995 so it is pretty obsolete.
- Astronomical Software
Directory Service Allows users to search on a variety of astronomical software
packages (including but not limited to IDL)
- FITS Archive at NRAO The main source for information about the Flexible Image Transport
System (FITS) data format, which is widely used in astronomy.
- Systems of Time
This site at the US Naval Observatory explains the time systems (e.g.
Julian date, UTC) used in astronomy.
Last modified May 10 2002
Stefano Ciprini: firstname.lastname@example.org
with the help of Wayne Landsman (SSAI-GSFC): email@example.com