IDL is the programming language of choice for many scientists and engineers because it’s easy to learn, easy to use, and requires fewer lines of code than other programming languages, making it easier and faster to go from data to discovery.

A Modern Programming Language

IDL Modern Programming Language, IDL Language

The dynamically typed nature of IDL gives you more flexibility in your programming than a static language, saving you valuable time and allowing you to focus on data analysis and visualization, rather than on programming details. Because the IDL language is based on intuitive and easy-to-learn rules and conventions, you can create visualization programs and even full-blown applications with fewer lines of code. With an extensive library of prebuilt analysis and visualization routines, IDL is the choice for programmers of any experience level.

Easily Integrates with Other Applications

IDL is a flexible and extensible visualization, analysis, and development environment that easily integrates with the other software tools you use. IDL provides a host of ways to import code and functionality from other programming languages and advanced methods for exporting IDL capabilities to your applications written in other languages.

  • Make the most of your investment in existing code. Call programs and libraries written in other languages from within IDL, or call IDL as a subroutine in applications written in other languages.
  • Import existing Java or COM objects into IDL applications and control them using IDL syntax.
  • Export your IDL code as a Java object for inclusion in applications written in Java running on any platform supported by IDL. Or, export your IDL code as a COM object for inclusion in a Windows application written in C#, Visual Basic, or any other COM-based programming environment.

Access Virtually Any Type of Data

IDL provides built-in support for the data sources, data types, file formats, and file sizes you use. Receive data from remote servers or write files to a disk at a remote location using common protocols. IDL acts as a client to HTTP and FTP servers, and provides access to common Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) servers such as Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS).

Common Image Formats:
PNG, and more

Scientific Data Formats:
netCDF-3 and netCDF-4
GRIB support on 32 and 64 bit Windows
as well as custom binary and ASCII files

Video Formats:
AVI, and more.


Additional Resources

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