Polar Scatterplot


Sliver Version Change Log

Version 1.5 (released March 25, 2017)

  • Adds support for 2D scatterplots with point sizes dependent on another variable (bubble charts).
  • Adds zooming capability to the PC Plot Matrix window. This may be slow for large datasets given the number of lines involved, but the zoom level is remembered. The existing zoom method for all windows (Ctrl plus mouse scroll), will now also work for all windows by just pressing the + and – keys. This particularly helps when touchpads on laptops do not have the same behavior as a PC mouse when scrolling. In all cases, including the Alt key zooms horizontally while the Shift key zooms vertically.
  • Adds new features for Google Earth plots:
    • A number of options specific to a plot type have been moved from the main Google Earth settings under the Options menu into the window that appears when the plot is selected under the Plots menu. This is more convenient and allows individual settings for the different plot types. Overall settings are still populated under the Options menu.
    • Adds an option to add timestamps to any Google Earth plot. The timestamps at the points can be chosen to be the row number as seconds since midnight (simply to provide a timespan), or the values of any variable in seconds. If a variable time-formatted in hh:mm:ss is selected, it is converted to seconds so the player will then show the associated time. When the KML file is opened, Google Earth presents a small player control panel that also includes a second cursor to set an interval of time. This can be used to animate the plot, only showing plotted features as the slider is manually positioned or automatically played. The automatic animation speed can be adjusted by clicking on the wrench icon in the player control panel. This feature is useful to provide animation in Google Earth without running Sliver at all, or to reduce clutter in complicated plots by only showing a particular range of the plot at a time.
    • In Pillar and Connection plots, and whenever spheres are added to a Path plot, a window provides an option to display the corresponding values of selected variables in a pop-up when an element is left-clicked in Google Earth. This is a great way to see the data at any point in the Google Earth displays.
    • Whenever spheres are added to a Pillar or Path plot, there is also an option to display the corresponding values of any selected variables in a label when a mouse-over of a sphere is performed. This is very useful for fast analysis or in finding the location of a particular value in a plot.
    • It is possible to display a mapped string rather than a number in pop-ups and labels. This uses a string mapping file whose path is entered in the Plot Settings. If enabled, values for each variable are compared to a list of matching numbers and strings for that variable in the file, and if a match occurs the string is displayed instead of the number. This file has the format of the output string mapping file of the Replace Strings with Numbers function of the DataTools menu, although the string mapping file can also be created by hand (see Appendix D of the User's Manual for the format).
    • Count-Based Animation that includes Google Earth animation now provides an option to move the Google Earth camera view to follow the icon. The range, tilt angle and relative heading of the camera from the icon as it moves can be specified. If the option to draw a line from the icon to a secondary set of coordinates is enabled, the relative heading can also be switched in sign to always be opposite that line for better viewing of it, or the heading can always be along that line.
    • Google Earth animation sometimes loses sync due to collisions between reading the position data and writing the data, which then requires right-clicking on the Position label in the left panel and choosing Refresh. These occurrences are greatly reduced now by implementing doubly-nested network link files.
  • Adds the choice in the Plots-->Display Values on Mouse-Over menu function to either display the numerical values or access a string mapping file populated in the Plot Settings and, if found for a variable value, display the string. This only applies to the main PC Plot.
  • Any variable with the string (sec-time) anywhere in its name is automatically interpreted as having units of seconds and will be transformed into the hh:mm:ss time format in the Sliver displays.
  • Updates DataTools menu functions:
    • Sliver associates commas in double quotes in CSV files as delimiters, and fails to load such files since the column count is deemed inconsistent. Implementing a real-time check on commas when a file is loaded, though, significantly slows down the input of data. A new DataTools function Remove Commas from Strings is added to remove these commas and the surrounding double quotes from a CSV file prior to reading it into Sliver.
    • Added a function Extract Rows with Multi-Column Values to extract rows based on Boolean combinations of values across multiple variables.
    • The Replace Strings with Numbers function now operates only on user-selected columns. This is useful to avoid replacing time-formatted values that Sliver can natively input.
  • Adds minor improvements:
    • Restores the functionality of the line to secondary Google Earth coordinates
    • Ignores leading zeros in data
    • Accepts non-integer seconds for time-formatted (hh:mm:ss) data
    • Skips writes to the settings file when locked due to Dropbox syncs, etc.
    • Correctly propagates time format and name staggering when axes are moved or deleted
    • Implements some performance improvements

Version 1.4.1 (released January 17, 2017)

  • Adds a new Analysis menu and moves the Brush Statistics function to it. New options in the Analysis menu are:
    • Display of histograms and mean value markings along axes, with user-selectable axes and number of bins. If Ctrl-zooming is performed while histograms and means are displayed, no scrollbars are added, so zoom out and back in or use arrow keys to center a different position in the plot (resizing the window does not introduce this restriction).
    • Entry of ranges for user-selectable axes, which simplifies setting axes to identical ranges for comparison purposes.
    • Centering of user-selectable axes on their means to show variations.
    • Centering of user-selectable axes on values of a selected line to show variations from a reference.
    • Resetting of axis ranges to their original values that span the minimum to maximum of each.
    • Automatic K-means clustering and brushing, with a selectable number of clusters k and number of found clusters to color brush in a rainbow palette. This requires the free R statistical software program to be installed on your PC, with the path to the Rscript.exe file entered into the new Analysis Settings window.
    • Creation and export of 3D scatterplots for automatic display in Matlab with Sliver color brushing, providing the benefits of Matlab’s interactive 3D scatterplot capabilities. This requires the Matlab program to be installed on your PC, with the path to the matlab.exe file entered into the new Analysis Settings window.
  • Adds a new Selections menu and moves some selection functions from the Brush menu to it. New options in the Selections menu are:
    • Selection of all unbrushed lines, which is mostly useful for assigning them to a color brush and then hiding that brush to leave other manually-brushed lines visible.
    • Thickening of selected lines, which can be re-invoked to thicken them further, to better view important data such as reference lines for axis centering. Thickened lines only appear in the PC Plot and in plots exported to PostScript/PDF where they appear thickened, opaque, and on top of the other lines. Unthickening of all visible lines is another menu option.
    • Ctrl-A now invokes the existing option to select all visible lines.
  • Updates the Plots menu:
    • The Google Earth Path Plot window now includes:
      • An option to assume the endpoints of the connection lie on the ground. Otherwise, lines connected between distant points can pass through the Earth if the altitude reference is not set to “Clamp to Ground” in the Google Earth Settings. This also means that the altitude variable does not have to be selected, which is necessary when only ground coordinates are available. This ground connection lies on the surface of the Earth along the great circle path between the points, with width, opacity, etc., set as before in the Google Earth Settings.
      • An option to draw a vertical parabolic arc between two connections lying on the ground rather than a line. The heights of the arc for different distance (the ratio of the distance between the points and the height) is user-selectable. This arc lies above the great circle path between the points. Again, the width, opacity, supports, etc., for the arcs is set as before in the Google Earth Settings, where you probably prefer the supports to be disabled.
    • A new Google Earth Pillar Plot is introduced, consisting of vertical rods at geographical points on the surface of the earth. This is very nice for marking individual points, even densely spaced points, with Sliver color-brushing and fixed heights or variable heights. The width and opacity of the pillars is user-selectable in the pillar plot window (not in the Google Earth Settings). The height above the ground of the pillars can either be a third variable or be set as a fixed value entered in the window. There is also an option to place a sphere on top of each pillar of that color and a configurable size and opacity.
    • A new function is added to the DataTools menu to merge multiple KML files created by Sliver into a single KML file, which is useful to combine individual path, pillar and connection plots without having to keep track of their individual KML files.
  • Updates the Axis menu:
    • Adds a new Axis menu option to horizontally compress or expand axes between two user-selected axes. This is very useful for spacing out axes that are of most interest while compressing others. The compression factor is also user-selectable. There is also an option to revert to equally spaced axes.
    • The option to stagger and unstagger axis names to avoid overlapping text in PC plots of many variables now staggers the minimum and maximum axis values as well. Staggering is now preserved across sessions.
  • Updates the Animate menu:
    • The Count-Based Animation window is updated to make the entries more intuitive. The maximum speed of play available in the Sliver DataPlayer window that controls the playback is now user-selectable in this window. The DataPlayer window now allows looping and zigzagging.
    • The previous restriction that a Google Earth Path Plot had to be created before Google Earth animation is enabled has been removed. If selected, the variables for the geographic coordinates are now selected as part of this function. Also, the existing option to animate a white line to a secondary set of coordinates can now be optionally colored according to another selectable variable. The color of the line is white if the variable is zero and rainbow-brushed from blue to red otherwise. (The reason for assigning white to a value of zero is to support Boolean values, so white is off, i.e., 0, and red is on, i.e., 1.)
    • Two or more instances of Sliver can now run in a common Count-Based Animation. A single Sliver DataPlayer window will serve to control all instances, so it is possible, for example, to animate multiple paths in Google Earth simultaneously with their own icons. The animation is based on row number, so you will want to make sure the data used in all Sliver instances starts at the same time of day, for example, and have the same data rate. Note that the same data file can be read into multiple Sliver instances and different variables selected for the animation.
    • The maximum selectable number of lines to fade in Count-Based Animation is increased from 10 to 20. If performance lags, reduce this number.
  • Updates certain DataTools functions to handle leading zeros in the data more consistently and to accept file paths that include a dot “.” (previously the output file would be saved to the next higher folder).
  • Restrictions on performing certain functions after zooming or panning have now been removed, although for a few functions the display will automatically revert to its original layout.
  • Performance for large data files has been improved in various ways.

Version 1.3 (released October 30, 2016)

  • Adds the menu option Plots-->New Google Earth Connections Plot to plot a line for each row of data between a selected pair of geo-coordinate variable sets (lat/lon/alt for point 1, lat/lon/alt for point 2). Settings for the plotted lines are taken from the Google Earth settings under the Options menu just as for a Google Earth path plot.

  • Adds a Brushes menu function to select visible lines by a range of variable values—no more zooming in while displaying values on mouse-over to select lines based on variable values. First, select a variable axis by pressing “Alt” while clicking on the axis name at the bottom, which highlights the name, and then select the menu option Brushes-->Enter Selection Range for an Axis to bring up a window to enter the minimum and maximum values to use to select lines. To choose lines in different ranges, save each set of lines to a color brush as they are selected by the individual ranges. It’s easy to create custom range brushing this way.

  • Adds the menu option Axis-->Stagger/Unstagger Names for PC Plots that have many axes or long axis names. Staggering the names will alternately shift axis names up and down so that overlapping names will be easier to read.

  • Increases the maximum number of automatic range brush colors from 8 to 16 (8 is still the default, but this can be changed in the Plot Settings menu option), plus improves the hues of the previous range colors.

  • Resizes points automatically after zooming a scatterplot window—no more having to press “S” after zooming to un-stretch points, at least in most all cases.

  • Adds the ability to choose every nth row to plot in Google Earth. This option is displayed in the Google Path Plot window where the variables to plot are selected, not in Google Earth settings, and this value is not saved between sessions. Plotting fewer points in Google Earth is faster and provides greater transparency of the supports. Also, some plots from the data may require more or fewer points than other plots. And when plotting more than about 20,000 points Google Earth often does not plot any points at all.

  • Adds a Brushes-->Select All Visible Lines menu function—no more swiping all the lines to select them all.

  • Fixes an issue where the previous Brushes-->Toggle Selection menu option also selected any hidden lines, which caused problems displaying them after they were assigned to another brush. The menu option is now titled Brushes-->Toggle Selection for Visible Lines.

  • The DataTools menu now supports the new Sort Rows by Column Value function in DataTools 1.2.4.

  • When selecting variables while reading in a file, previous variable selections in the same session are now automatically pre-selected more consistently than before. However, if the new file contains a different number of variables, all variables are automatically deselected to avoid inadvertent variable selections.

  • The units for altitude, latitude and longitude in the Google Earth settings (feet/meters and radians/degrees) are now saved between sessions. The multipliers and offsets are reset to zero.

  • Updates the user controls in the Data Player window used in Count-Based Animation to be more intuitive, and substantially decreases freezing in Google Earth during animation (if the icon does stop moving along the path, right-click on the Position label in the left pane of Google Earth and select Refresh).

  • Turns on by default the setting to display values along an axis while swiping. This is a very useful feature, but if desired it can be disabled again in the Options-->Plot Settings menu function.

  • Fixes an issue where the displayed fraction for selected lines in the PC Plot was shifted when an axis was deleted.

  • Section 2 of this User’s Manual (Data Visualizations in Sliver) has been updated with more specific menu selections to serve as something of a tutorial.

Version 1.2.2 (released July 10, 2016)

  • When selecting variables to load from an input file, users can now save the selections to a file, or load the selections from a previously saved variable selections file through new buttons in the variable selection window. This eliminates the need to manually check off the same set of variables each time a file is loaded. The selections file format is identical to that of the standalone DataTools application, so these variable selection files can be shared.

  • When loading or saving a file, the file browser window now defaults to the directory of the last input or saved file, even across sessions.

  • DataTools functions are updated to the latest standalone DataTools v1.2.3, which fixes slow viewing of min/max values, makes sure the functions terminate when returning to the main window, adds new options to some functions, and improves validation of input values.

  • Minor cosmetic and usability updates.

Version 1.2.1 (released May 16, 2016)

  • Improved DataTools menu, including new data manipulation functions and better progress indications. These tools are also now available in a standalone application on the Download page.

Version 1.2 (released April 19, 2015)

  • New Feature: Data values in time formats of hh:mm:ss and mm:ss are now allowed as well as decimal numbers. Here hh and mm must be positive integers of one or two digits, and ss can be either an integer or a decimal number. The two formats can be intermixed. Sliver automatically detects this time format from the colon (:) character and displays that variable data as hh:mm:ss in all plots.

  • New Feature: Lines can be shifted upward or downward on an axis relative to the either the top or bottom of the axis. Lines can be shifted off the ends of an axis or even off the top or bottom of the window. This provides a way to spread lines of interest to the full length of the axis. This is particularly useful when extreme data has caused other lines of interest to be compressed at the opposite end of an axis. Rather than having to delete the input rows containing the extreme data, this feature can shift the lines for the extreme data off the end of an axis at the top or bottom to spread out the lines of interest. (See pages 11-12 of the User's Manual)

  • New Feature: Range brushing a selection of lines now retains the color brushing of lines that are not part of the selection, and any brush that is hidden is not range-brushed and remains hidden. As before, range brushing an entire selected axis removes all existing brushes and assigns the lines on the axis to new color brushes based on the selected range palette. Lines that have been shifted off the axis are unbrushed (uncolored) when range brushing an entire axis, but are brushed if they are included in a range brush selection. (See page 9 of the User's Manual)

  • Bugfixes: Previously, lines added to a hidden brush were not hidden until the brush was shown and hidden again, but they are immediately hidden now. Also, when axis values are shown while swiping, the values did not previously account for an axis being inverted.

Version 1.1 (released Jan. 3, 2015)

  • Initial public release.