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Even though this introductory document hasn't been updated in several years, it's a good place to start if you are just getting started using NCAR Graphics. It contains important information for all users of NCAR Graphics, such as:
This document hasn't been updated in a number of years either, but all of the information still applies. It's a learning tool for beginning and intermediate users of the Fortran interface to NCAR Graphics. It gives examples and describes how to use all routines in the Areas, Ezmap, and Conpack utilities. Users combine these routines to prepare NCAR Graphics programs that fill areas, draw maps, and contour data fields.
The email group "ncl-talk" allows both NCL and NCAR Graphics users to exchange information and ideas.
NCL is a scripting language designed specifically for scientific data analysis and visualization. The visualizations are all based on NCAR Graphics. NCL has a 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. As of version 5.0.0, both NCAR Graphics and NCL are bundled as one software package in both binary and source code form.
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.
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.