METplus Practical Session Guide (Version 5.0) | Session 1: Grid-to-Grid > MET Tool: Plot-Data-Plane

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are returning to the tutorial, you must source the tutorial setup script before running the following instructions. If you are unsure if you have done this step, please navigate to the Verify Environment is Set Correctly page.

Whenever getting started with new gridded datasets in MET, users are strongly encouraged to first run the Plot-Data-Plane tool to visualize the data. Doing so confirms that MET can read the input file, extract the desired data, and geolocate and orient it correctly. It is particularly useful in testing the configuration string needed to extract the data from the input file.

In MET, the terminology Data-Plane means a 2-dimensional field of gridded data.

Plot-Data-Plane Functionality

The Plot-Data-Plane tool reads a single 2-dimensional field of gridded data from the specified input file and writes a PostScript output file containing a spatial plot of the data. It plots the data using a configurable color table that is automatically rescaled to the range of values found by default. The ImageMagick convert utility is recommend for converting the PostScript output file to other image file formats, if needed.

Plot-Data-Plane Usage

View the usage statement for Plot-Data-Plane by simply typing the following:
Usage: plot_data_plane  
  input_filename Input file containing gridded data to be be plotted
  output_filename Output PostScript file to be written
  field_string String defining the data to be plotted
  [-color_table name] Overrides the default color table (optional)
  [-plot_range min max] Specifies the range of data to be plotted (optional)
  [-title string] Specifies the plot title string (optional)
  [-log file] Outputs log messages to the specified file
  [-v level] Level of logging