Mirone is a MATLAB-based framework tool that allows the display and manipulation of a large number of grid formats through its interface with the GDAL library. Its main purpose is to provide users with an unusual easy-to-use graphical interface to the more commonly used programs of the GMT package. In addition it offers also a large number of tools that are particularly focused to the fields of geophysics and Earth Sciences. Among them, the user can find tools to do multibeam mission planning, elastic deformation studies, tsunami propagation modeling, IGRF computations and magnetic Parker inversions, Euler rotations and Euler poles computations, plate tectonic reconstructions, seismicity analysis and focal mechanism plotting, advanced image processing tools, etc... The high quality mapping and cartographic capabilities that made GMT known worldwide is guaranteed trough the Mirone’s capability of automatically generating GMT cshell scripts and dos batch files.
As mentioned, Mirone is written using the MATLAB programming language. MATLAB is a very powerful tool for software development. The language is very is easy to learn and contains an endless collection of mathematical functions that highly facilitates the task of writing complicated code, including Graphical Users Interfaces. However, it also suffers from important limitations. Speed and specially memory consumption (voracity) are the main ones.
To circumvent the above constrains almost all heavy computations involving matrix data are done in Mirone with the help of external code written in C and compiled as MEX files. Since those MEX files use the scalar programming type and use single precision or short integer variables whenever that is all that is need to not compromise the result accuracy, their memory consumption is reduced to the minimum necessary while the running speed is that of a compiled code.
Although Mirone is written in MATLAB, a stand-alone version to run under Windows is also provided. This version was originally a bit less efficient than the native MATLAB code but since it is compiled the Intel compiler it became actually sensibly faster than the MATLAB version (not so much wonder, since the later gets permanently fatter with Java shit). The compiled version has its own advantages. Namely, we can drag-and-drop files onto the Mirone desktop icon to open them. In addition, it even supports file associations but in order that this works the user must set the environmental variable MIRONE_HOME with the path to the root Mirone’s installation directory (this should be taken care of by the installer).
Copyright © <2010>, <Joaquim Luis>
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