VTK can do more than just draw qualitative pictures of the data. For starters, picking and selection allow for interactive querying of the data. VTK has its own suite of MPI-scalable statistical analysis algorithms and interfaces to external tools like Python and R.

More often than not, the results that matter most can be boiled down into an easily understood 2D plot. VTK’s charting classes are unique in that they can drive OpenGL and vector graphics backends, and they scale well to hundreds of thousands of data values. They are also open source and platform agnostic.

Some of the important plotting and charting resources are:

  • vtkTable – most of the plots and views take in tabular data
  • vtkContextScene manages collections of charts and other essentially 2D items on the page
  • vtkChart maps out an area in the context scene where a plot will be displayed
  • vtkPlot – a family of classes (pie, histogram, line, etc.) that draw graphs into the charting area
  • vtkImageItem simply displays vtkImageData in the context scene