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A Glyph Toolbox for Immersive Scientific Visualization



H W. Bullen, J S. Chang, A V. Harn, Steven G. Satterfield, Peter M. Ketcham, J E. Devaney


We describe a set of software, the Glyph ToolBox (GTB), for creating three dimensional (3D) glyphs. This software defines a single, general format for describing glyphs; it includes color and opacity parameters as well as location information.GTB is written with the UNIX philosophy of small reusable programs that are text based for portability and efficiency. Version 1.0 of GTB currently contains simple figures, manipulation functions, extrusion functions, meta-figure functions, as well asadditional functions such as text creators.We describe four applications of the glyph toolbox: a visualization of the Monk's problem, a relationship highlighter, a smiley emoticon, and a display algorithm for concave surfaces.We separate the creation of the glyphs from their display. We provide a filter that can translate the GTB format to Inventor format or VRML 1.0. However, any system can incorporate the GTB format into their environment, making the creation and use of glyphs uniform across viewers.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6924
Report Number


3 dimensions, glyphs, immersive visualization


Bullen, H. , Chang, J. , Harn, A. , Satterfield, S. , Ketcham, P. and Devaney, J. (2002), A Glyph Toolbox for Immersive Scientific Visualization, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created September 30, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021