[AstroPy] A simple python module, wrapping pytfits+matplotlib: fits I/O + graphic/display environment

Maurizio Panniello maurizio at iac.es
Thu May 4 09:33:43 CDT 2006

Very nice idea...
It could be a great proyect if it is well done. Especially now that Iraf 
is no longer sopported and many people are moving to python...

Good luck!

>I am trying since some time to develop a simple module to wrap up some
>functionalities of pyfits and matplotlib.
>The goal is to be able to manipulate FITS files (spectra, images, 3D
>cubes, including maybe Euro3D format for those who know what it is) and
>display them (plot slices, display images, etc) in a very simple way. It
>could be inspired from (although not a cloning of) simple
>functionalities found in Midas. So you can do things like
>Image1.fits = Image2.fits / (Image3.fits + 3.4)
>Table.fits.col1 = Table.fits.col2 * Table.fits.col4 / 2.
>, or easily create a new Fits image, or table, display them by doing
>something like:
>load("Image1.fits", scale=3, cuts=(0.,100.), center=(-1.,6.))
>or alternatively:
>ima = fitstab("Image1.fits")
>load(ima, scale=3, cuts=(0.,100.), center=-1.,6.)
>(where Image1.fits is displayed with a scaling factor of 3, with cuts as
>indicated, and the center of the figure corresponding to coordinates -1,6)
>plot("Image1.fits", 0)
>(plot a cut at vertical coordinate 0)
>You could say then: use Midas. But Midas is clearly very limited (does
>not have the python built-in potential of course) and its
>display/plotting functions are really scarce. The fact that there is now
>a pyMidas available does not fill the gap since I would like to be able
>to run my favourite ide (ipython for the moment), and really profit from
>all python modularity/functions.
>So the choice for an I/O with fits seems easy: "pyfits" which is a
>really fantastic module for dealing with FITS files.
>And the choice for displaying is also not so difficult: "matplotlib"
>which is also an amazing module and provides paper quality figures.
>My questions are then:
>0/ is this a dum idea? Maybe I am missing something here, so just let me
>1/ is there already something existing which does what I mention above?
>(so a wrapper around pyfits+matplotlib). Maybe at StSci...?
>2/ If I were to try to develop such a tool, it will result in a rather
>badly coded module: I will try my best but frankly I should be
>considered as a newby in python and I can sincerely say that I don't
>fully understand all the forum matplotlib/numpy/scipy discussions, by
>far... So the question is: would anybody be interested/willing to, once
>in a while, help me with this development?
>Some could answer that using directly pyfits+matplotlib does the job.
>True. But if you wish to directly deal with fits and display them with
>some option (zooming, cuts, centering, etc) you still need to go through
>a number of steps which are not necessarily easy to remember (syntax,
>etc). Some wrapping could help quite a lot here.
>Thanks for any input here.
>P.S.: for the sake of completeness I could send anybody on request the
>very ugly looking - and unfinished modules I wrote last year in this
>context, when I seriously engaged in python in replacement of
>P.P.S.: this is a duplicate of a post sent to matplotlib, but as 
>suggested by P. Barrett, this post is much more relevant to astropy...
>Sorry for the duplicate.
>AstroPy mailing list
>AstroPy at scipy.net

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