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What is NCAR Graphics?

NCAR Graphics is comprised of:

What about the NCAR Command Language (NCL)?

The NCAR Command Language (NCL) is an interpreted language designed specifically for scientific data analysis and visualization. NCL has robust file input and output: it can read and write netCDF-3, netCDF-4 classic, HDF4, binary, and ASCII data, and read HDF-EOS2, GRIB1, and GRIB2. The graphics are based on NCAR Graphics.

As of version 5.0.0, NCAR Graphics is distributed with the NCAR Command Language (NCL) under the NCL source code and binary licenses.

Which package should I use?

NCAR Graphics is primarily a graphics package, with some limited data analysis through the Ngmath package. It is strictly library based, which means you need to write a Fortran or C program in order to use it.

NCL is a graphics, data analysis, and file input/output package. It is a language, so you need to write NCL scripts to use it.

If you are new to both NCAR Graphics and NCL, then we recommend that you learn NCL, as it gives you more capabilities and the graphics are easier to use.

If you have existing NCAR Graphics programs, or need some of the graphics features of NCAR Graphics that are not available in NCL (like weather maps), then we recommend you use NCAR Graphics.


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