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newcont -- Draw a contour plot of an image.


newcont image


This task will draw, trace, and smooth contours using bicubic polynomials, and is based on the FARBE package developed by Albrecht Preusser as published in the ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, Vol. 15, No. 1, March 1989.

Contour "colors" can be arbitrarily set by specifying a list of contours. Logarithmic functions can be used to specify varying-spaced contour levels. The major advantage this routine has over plot.contour is that the contours are better smoothed and never cross themselves, producing a higher quality contour. This quality is gained, however, at the expense of speed.

The speed can be increased by decreasing the image resolution; this is done using the xres and yres parameters. When preserve = yes, the task automatically reduces the image in both directions by the same factor, which is the larger of (ncolumns / xres) or (nlines / yres). If the aspect ratio is not being preserved, the X and Y dimensions are independently reduced to the specified resolution. No reduction is done if both xres and yres are set to 0, if the input image is an image section, or if the image is smaller than xres by yres.

If the device viewport (i.e., the plotting area) is not set, a viewport will be automatically set and centered on the output device. When the fill parameter is set to "no" (the default), the viewport will be adjusted so that equal numbers of image pixels in X and Y will occupy equal lengths when plotted. That is, when fill = no, a unity aspect ratio is enforced, and square images are represented as square plots regardless of the device aspect ratio. On devices without square viewports (e.g., the vt640), a square image will appear extended when fill = yes. To completely fill the device viewport with contour lines, disable perimeter drawing and enable fill, and nothing but the contour map will be drawn.

Contour plots may be overlaid on a displayed image by setting the output device to "imd" for image display and the contouring parameters fill and perimeter to "yes" and "no" respectively. By default, green contours will be drawn on the image display. Other choices for device are "imdr", "imb", "imdy", "imdw" and "imdg" for red, blue, yellow, white and green output contours, respectively.

There are three ways to specify a "color":
1) You can change the way negative contours are produced using 
   the 'negative_color' parameter.
2) You can emphasize contours at specified intervals with the
  'major_contour' and 'major_color' parameters.  
3) You can specify colors for arbitrary contours using the 
   contour list facility provided by the the 'list' parameter.

At the moment, the only IRAF graphics devices that can handle color are those that use the PostScript kernel, psikern. Consult the STSDAS installation guide about installing and using psikern. For more information about psikern, type "help psikern".

Contour Lists
Using the parameter list, a list of contour levels may be specified or a file containing a list of contour levels may be given. The list is composed of a comma or white-space separated list of numbers or color specifications. If a number is encountered, it is assumed to be a value to contour. Line colors are set by using the word "color", for example, "color=5" (see the Color description above).

An ASCII text file can be used to contain contour and color values. This file is then passed to the task by passing its name, preceded by the "@" character. For example, "@filename".

The only requirement is that the contour values should be specified in consistently increasing order.

Percent Levels
The parameter plev allows you to specify a fraction of the range of the image to use as the contour interval. For example, if plev = 0.1, there would be ten contour levels, each separated by 10% of the dynamic range of the image.

plev also interacts with the contour list (see above). If both plev and list are specified, then each value specified in the list is multiplied by plev and the dynamic range of the image to determine the contour levels.


image [file name]
Two-dimensional image or image section to be contoured.
(floor = INDEF) [real]
Minimum value to be contoured. If floor is undefined, a value rounded up from the image minimum will be used.
(ceiling = INDEF) [real]
Maximum value to be contoured. If ceiling is undefined, a value rounded down from the image maximum will be used.
(zero = INDEF) [real]
Greyscale value of the zero contour, i.e., the value of a zero point shift to be applied to the image data before plotting. This does not affect the values of floor and ceiling. If zero=INDEF, no shift is performed.
(ncontours = INDEF) [integer]
Number of contours to be drawn. If ncontours=INDEF, the contour interval may be specified, otherwise 20-30 nicely-spaced contours are drawn. A maximum of 100 contours can be drawn.
(interval = INDEF) [integer]
Contour interval. If interval is left as "INDEF", a contour interval is chosen that places 20 to 30 contours spanning the intensity range of the image.
(plev = INDEF) [real]
Percent level specification for contour levels. If plev is set, it is multiplied by the range to contour and the resulting interval is used for the contour levels. If a contour list is defined, then each value in the contour list is multiplied by plev and the image range to determine the contour levels.
(list = "") [string]
A list of values or a file specification containing a list of values to use as the contour levels.
(dvpar = "") [pset]
The pset dvpar contains the generic parameters specifying the output plot device, the location of the plot, etc. The parameters used by newcont in dvpar are as follows:
(device = "stdgraph") [string]
Output device (this can be either "stdgraph", "stdplot", or the name of a physical device).
(left = INDEF), (right = INDEF), (bottom = INDEF), (top = INDEF) [real]
The device viewport, in normalized device coordinates (from 0.0 to 1.0 inclusive). If these parameters are not specified, newcont automatically centers the plot on the device viewport.
(append = no) [boolean]
Append to an existing plot?
(xres = 64) [integer]
The xres and yres parameters together represent the resolution to with the input image will be block averaged or subsampled.
(yres = 64) [integer]
Resolution along Y. See the xres description above.
(preserve = yes) [boolean]
Preserve the aspect ratio when subsampling or block averaging?
(perimeter = yes) [boolean]
Draw the standar contour border with tickmarks and informational titles?
(wcslab = no) [boolean]
Use the wcslab labelling routines rather than standard pixel labelling?

If wcslab = yes, then instead of using standard pixel labelling around the contour edges, the wcslab routines are called and will use information stored in the image's MWCS (usually, Right Ascension and Declination). Type "help wcslab" for more information.

(wlpars = "") [pset]
Name of the parameter set (pset) containing the labelling parameters when wcslab = yes. By default, this will call the pset used by wcslab.
(usewcs = no) [boolean]
Use the world coordinate system (WCS) defined in the wcspar parameter set?

If usewcs = no, then the WCS is derived from an image or some other source. (See wcspar below).

(wcspars = "") [pset]
Parameter set (pset) for specifying a different WCS if the image is not specified or does not contain any WCS information. Type "help wcspars" for more information.
(title = "imtitle") [string]
Title to be centered above the plot. If the value of title is "imtitle", a default string made up of the image title will be used. If no title is desired, them set title to the empty string, "".
(subsample = no) [boolean]
Use subsampling to achieve the resolution specified by xres and yres?

Setting subsample=no, uses block averaging to achieve the target resolution.

(major_contours = INDEF) [integer]
Contour interval to be emphasized. For example, if major_contours = 5, then every fifth contour will be emphasized.
(major_color = 9) [integer]
Define the "color" that will be used to emphasize major contours as defined by major_contour. See the explanation of Color in the Description section above for the meaning of colors.
(scale_box = no) [boolean]
Draw a scale box defining the relative spacing of contour intervals?

If this is used (i.e., set to "yes"), then the scale box will be drawn to the right of the contour plot.

(function = "linear") [string, allowed values: linear | log | rlog]
Defines how contour levels are calculated if interval or plev are left undefined. The "rlog" method is the inverse of the log.
(negative_color = 7) [integer]
The "color" of contour levels below zero, if zero is defined.
(nhi = no) [boolean]
Mark high and low regions with an "h" or "l" and their values?
(rain = no) [boolean]
Use a rainbow of colors?

When rain = yes, the task will use a rainbow of colors for contrours, going from blue for low-valued contours to red for high-valued contrours. NOTE that colors are device-dependent.

(cont_mode = "line") [string, allowed values: line | fill ]
Method of delineating contours.

If cont_mode = "line", then lines will be used to delimit contours.

If set to "fill", then newcont will produce a plot of filled regions, each region representing a different level. This only makes sense when each contour level is in a different color, as specified by either "rain = yes", or a color is defined for each level in a contour definition list (see the description of the list parameter above).


1. Draw a contour plot of a 512 square image on the graphics terminal. With the default values for xres and yres, the image would automatically be block averaged by a factor of 8 in X and Y.

   st> newcont crab.5009

2. Repeat the previous example, but print the plot on a plotter as a background job:

   st> newcont crab.5009 device=stdplot &

3. Place a ceiling at an intensity value of 500 to cut out a noise spike. Move the plot to the lower left corner of the display.

   st> cont crab.5009 ceil=500 left=.1 right=.6 bottom=.1 top=.6

4. Overlay a contour plot of an image on the image that is currently displayed on the output device. Note that the contour parameters fill and perimeter must be on and off respectively.

    st> display m51 1
    st> cont m51 fill+ per- device=imd

5. Specify a list to be used as contour levels:

    st> newcont m51 list="100,200,400,800,1600"

6. Specify a file containing a list of contour levels:

    st> newcont m51 list="@contour.list"

7. Draw contours of every possible color at intervals of 10% of the dynamic range image:

    st> newcont m51 plev=0.1 list="@contour.list"

where the contour.list file contains:

    color=1, 1
    color=2, 2
    color=3, 3
    color=4, 4
    color=5, 5
    color=6, 6
    color=7, 7
    color=8, 8
    color=1, 9, 10

This file says that the first contour at 10% the image's dynamic range drawn in color 1. For the 20% level, the color will be drawn in color 2, etc.

8. Draw contours and label the edges of the graph with the image's MWCS information:

    st> contour m51 wcslab+


If block averaging is used, the contour precision will be no better than the blocking factor. For example, if a contour map drawn with a block averaging factor of 8 is overlaid on an image of a starfield, contours drawn around stars in the field may not appear to be centered. This problem can be solved by increasing the plot resolution using the xres and yres parameters.


contour, surface, display, imdkern, imexamine, wcslab, disconlab, psikern

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