Interactive Visualization Widgets Using Chaco and Enable

Description

Interactivity is an important part of computer visualization of data, but all too often the user interfaces to control the visualization are far from optimal. This talk will show how you can use the Enable and the Chaco to build interactive visualization widgets which give much better user feedback than sliders or text fields.

Chaco is an open-source interactive 2D plotting library that is part of the Enthought tool-suite, which is in turn built upon the Enable interactive 2D drawing library that are compatible with PyQt, WxPython, Pyglet and VTK. These libraries are written in Python and are key tools that Enthought uses to deliver scientific applications to our clients.

This talk will show how to use these tools to build UI widgets that can be used to control visualizations interactively. Rather than building a complex, monolithic control, the approach that we will demonstrate builds the control our of many smaller interactions, each controlling a small piece of the overall state of a visualization, with a high level of reusability.

As a simple but useful case-study, we'll show how we built an interactive histogram widget that can be use to adjust the brightness, contrast, gamma and other attributes of an image in real-time. We'll also discuss some of the tricks we used to keep the user interactions responsive in the face of having to visualize larger images.