The Grid Visualization Tool (GVT) is a computer program for displaying the path of a mobile robotic explorer (rover) on a terrain map. The GVT reads a map-data file in either portable graymap (PGM) or portable pixmap (PPM) format, representing a gray-scale or color map image, respectively.

The GVT also accepts input from path-planning and activity-planning software. From these inputs, the GVT generates a map overlaid with one or more rover path(s), waypoints, locations of targets to be explored, and/or target-status information (indicating success or failure in exploring each target). The display can also indicate different types of paths or path segments, such as the path actually traveled versus a planned path or the path traveled to the present position versus planned future movement along a path. The program provides for updating of the display in real time to facilitate visualization of progress. The size of the display and the map scale can be changed as desired by the user. The GVT was written in the C++ language using the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) software. It has been compiled for both Sun Solaris and Linux operating systems.

This program was written by Caroline Chouinard, Forest Fisher, Tara Estlin, Daniel Gaines, and Steven Schaffer of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Software category.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-2827. Refer to NPO-40303.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Grid Visualization Tool

(reference NPO-40303) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2005 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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