Hands-On, Minds-On Meteorology
Description | Programming | Operation

Graphing Tool


The graphing tool is a crude-yet more than adequate means of graphing the large amount of numerical data produced by the programs.




The primary objective of the Graphing Tool is to make graphical drawings of information gathered while operating the programs. This visual means can help the students determine relationships between variables.




Data is added to the table in the order it is received from the program. The table is a graphic inside a JScrollPane. What this means is this data is not selectable, you have to export it to the notepad to select it. The JScrollPane simply allows a scrollbar to appear when the table becomes larger than window. The size of the Graphing Tool is determined by the program, and the graphs are scaled to always fit inside the window. Note the condition on multiple-y-values-for-the-same-x-value nuance in 'Other'.






Because the data can be added erratically (for example, consecutive temperature program entries can have temperatures of -100°C, 400°C, 200°C), the x-axis variables are first organized in ascending numerical order before the graph is made. This causes problems when trying to draw a line where the same x values can have different y values. The resulting graph is pretty messy. The only workaround is to export the data to another graphing application and creating the graph there.



Running the Program

  • Click the 'Graphing Tool' button where found. (Typically in the primary program window.)
  • Add data to the table / graph by changing values on the original program (sometimes the user may have to wait for an equilibrium condition to exist or to let go of the scrollbar in order to see the addition made.
  • Choose from the radio buttons at the bottom to create a graph with the x and y-axis variables chosen.
  • Go back to previous graphs or the table by using the Excel-style tabs below the graphs.
  • Click the 'Notepad' button to view a blank NotePad. More than one notepad can be opened at a time.
  • Click the 'Export Data' button to export the data form the table to the Notepad.
  • Click the 'Save Graph' button to save the current Graph.
  • Click the 'Clear Data' button to remove the Data from the table and graphs.

Extra Knowledge

Odd graphs can result from this program as it is crude (see above). Also, for each application, not every combination of x-axis and y-axis variables will produce the greatest results.


Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Created by Dan Bramer: Last Modified 07/27/2004
send questions/comments to bramer@atmos.uiuc.edu