Another random walk in the morning. I started out by reading an email from a Google Earth Users group on LinkedIn. The question was about the accuracy of the elevation data. Fidel Omar-Ali answered with lots of great links to the US Geological survey data sets.
This led me to download a *.bil file centered on the area in Sweden where we went canoe'ing last summer. I did not know what a *.bil file was but I found that the R statistics package, rgdal, does. But...I thought I would write in my blog what I was doing so I would not forget.
While logging into my blog, I saw some updates of the blogs I follow. One of them is Climate Audit, which I like because the author tries to reproduce published climate results. I started learning R because he published his scripts in a user friendly way. Anyway, he was working with code that Lindzen had published alongside his published article. This code was written in IDL. A commenter mentioned that there was an open source IDL package called GDL.
I had stopped using IDL because the version I was using did not work on the linux upgrade and I could not afford to buy the next version. The licensing had been a bit of a hastle (keys and such) also, which is what makes open source more interesting.
And here I am. I hesitate to start working on another software package, just when I was doing so well with R. But I have to use GMT with R to make nice images for presenting data on maps. It is not very interactive. I am also quite fond of widgets but tend to waste too much time tinkering with them. On the other hand, I did make quite a few nice ones that I will try using with GDL.