his book provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of programming in Interactive Data Language (IDL), an array-oriented data analysis and visualization environment developed and marketed by Research Systems, Incorporated (RSI) of Boulder, Colorado. IDL is available for Windows, MacOS, UNIX (including Linux), and VMS platforms.
The first version of IDL for VAX/VMS was released in 1981 by RSI founder David Stern. Since then, IDL has emerged from its roots in the astronomical and space sciences to become a widely used tool in research, educational, and commercial settings in areas as diverse as the earth sciences, medical physics, and engineering test and analysis. Examples of real-world tasks where IDL is used include analyzing and visualizing images from the Hubble Space Telescope; rendering threedimensional volumes of the human body from magnetic resonance imaging; and monitoring and controlling the plasma field of a nuclear fusion tokamak.