The Data is to be used for academic and research applications only. IDV or the commercial data streams available on its installation are NOT for commercial or decision making applications.
The IDV runs on any platform that supports Java 2 version 1.4 or later (FCS versions only), and Java 3D version 1.2.1 or later. The IDV is known to run on the following operating systems.
- Windows: 98, NT, 2000, XP*
- Linux: RedHat 8.0, 9.0 **
- Solaris/SPARC: SunOS 5.8 (Solaris 8)+ ***
- Mac OS-X 10.3.1 or later ****
** The version of the Mesa library that comes with RedHat Linux may be incompatible with Java 3D from Blackdown. If you experience X server crashes when exiting the IDV, you will need to build and install Mesa from source available at http://www.mesa3d.org.
***OpenGL must be installed for Java 3D to run on Solaris/SPARC.
****Java 3D must be installed for Mac OS-X. You can download it online.
The prospective user should be advised that the faster the processor and higher the memory, the better. Read UCAR/UNIDATA Web Pages for details.
IDV can accept specifically formatted files discussed here:
Currently, IDV's distribution contains links to various university and government sites who serve their UNIDATA feeds through a web server.
Integrating with other Tools
IDV can read specific model output files, but best works with connected to one of the server sites that provide and distribute UNIDATA products. (Once again, see the UNIDATA Acceptable Use Policy). Connection to external data sources is subject to change pending traffic. User institutions are encouraged to develop their own data services for IDV.
IDV also has collaborative features that include chat and other peer-to-peer resources.
IDV requires a basic knowledge of meteorological analysis and understanding of the products involved. The interface is intuitive but is best used on a fast platform with considerable memory.
The Java interfaces and download from distant sites may create a more sluggish viewing experience. 3D Rendering of Isosurfaces may also slow the interface down. However, IDV's ability to render in 3D (e.g., jets, isentropic surfaces, IPV surface, etc) without much difficulty to the user (not to mention being able to access a larger supply of meteorological data) makes it a powerful teaching tool.