VTK was originally built for the analysis of data that has inherent spatiotemporal attributes, such as CFD and FEM simulation data, objects, and images. The processing and display of such data is called Scientific Visualization, and it is still VTK’s forte. However, VTK’s data flow pipeline has proven to be quite effective for the more general task of working with arbitrary, not spatially-situated, data. This is called Information Visualization, or InfoVis. Today’s VTK contains data structures that can hold such data including vtkTables and vtkGraphs, the filters that operate on the data, and the rendering classes to embed the data into a coordinate system so that it can can be laid out on screen.
VTK’s Information Visualization capabilities include the following: