Plotting Utility helps you interactively plot and compare scalar data from different instruments and sensors.
- Log in - You need to log in to search for data. If you haven't registered, it's easy to create a new account.
- Open Plotting Utility
- Choose an instrument and sensor from the Instrument/sensor Selection tab. You can browse instruments by type, location or research project.
- Use the time period selection area to refine the time period you wish to examine.
- Click Plot.
- Add more plots for the same time period by choosing different instruments and sensors.
- Right-click on a sensor to overlay its values on an existing plot.
- Roll your cursor over plot curves for interactive data read-outs.
- Zoom in on time periods of interest by clicking and dragging directly on the data plot.
- Save your plot settings by clicking Save Plot(s); you can then regenerate the same plots later with a single click.
- Save your plot as a graphic by clicking the Image Plot button (top right of plot), then right-clicking on pop-up plot..
- Plot tools let you grab images, change styles, add titles and legends, access numerical data, refine axes, etc.
- An unwanted plot can be removed by clicking its red X.
- Adjusting the time period automatically adjusts all active plots.
The instrument/sensor selection tab in the upper-left panel lets you browse the full list of instruments with scaler sensor data in our archive. Use the dropdown selector to display instruments by type, location or research project. When you find the instrument and sensor you're looking for, select it by clicking on it. When you do this, a plot is generated in the plot area.
Station is a physical area within the network, and includes all instruments deployed to the area over time.
Refine the list of instruments using the Filter dropdown selector. This lets you choose water properties and other measured quantities of interest.
Use the time period selection area to define the time period over which you want to plot data. You can choose presets such as Last 10 Minutes or Last 7 Days, or can define custom time periods using the date-time boxes and calendar buttons. Whenever you change the time period, click the Update Plot(s) button to redisplay data over the new period. Every new time period is recorded in the time period history box on the right side of this panel, and you can click previous time periods to revert to previous plots. You can also browse time periods by clicking the Previous and Next Time Period buttons.
If you wish to save a time period and plot set for future reference, click Save Plot(s) (more on this below).
Use the Auto Refresh dropdown selector to set a time interval for your plot to be automatically updated. (Leave set to Inactive for a static time period.)
If more data points are available than can be drawn by Plotting Utility during the requested time span for a plot, the data volume is reduced by resampling. A box-car or ensemble average is computed over fixed time intervals, which are chosen from one of the following intervals:
- 1, 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds
- 1, 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes
- 1, 6, 12 or 24 hours
- 7 days (Sunday to Saturday)
For example, if the time span in your plot covers one day, the data will be averaged on 1 minute intervals, on the minute, every minute, for a total of 1440 data points.
In general, a plot display on your browser window is approximately 1000 pixels wide, so plotting utility will aim to use roughly 1000 data points to display the data. By extension, each data point in a 17-hour plot will represent 1 minute of data and be averaged over a 1-minute period. Each data point in a 41-day plot will represent about an hour and be averaged over a 1-hour period, etc.
The plot legend appears in an expandable box. Click the arrow in its upper-right corner show and hide it. Reveal and hide individual plotted curves by clicking the eye icons. You can reposition the legend box by clicking and dragging the dots or bumps in the upper-left corner of the box.
A set of tool icons appears in the upper-right corner of each plot. Click them to:
- display the legend
- generate the plot as a graphic (png format), which you can save to your computer
- open a data file containing scalar values used to generate the plot
- add a plot title, revise axis ranges and change the curve type
- delete the plot
Click the bar chart icon to generate a snapshot of a plot in .png format. This opens in a new window. Right-click and choose Save Image as... to save the snapshot to your computer.
Click the file icon to get a table showing all data values used to generate the plot. The header indicates the instrument, sensor and whether averaging was used.
Use the Plot Properties tool (looks like a little gear) to set the:
- plot title
- axes ranges
- plot style (area, bar, high-low, line, scatter)
- curve colours
The following video introduces all of the plot tools:
You can save your plots in different ways:
- graphic (png format) files
- saved settings
To save any plot as a graphic (png format) file:
- click the Image Plot button (the plot will be displayed in a separate window)
- right-click on the image
- choose Save image as...
- choose a name for the graphic file
- browse to the location you want to save it on your computer
- click save
You can also save all the settings associated with a plot, including date, time, instruments, sensors, curve colours and styles, etc. This allows you to easily recreate the same plot in the future. To save current settings:
- click Save Plot(s)
- enter a name for your saved plot
- click Save
In addition to saving graphics and settings, you can also save links that will open the Plotting Utility and regenerate your plots. To do so:
- right click on a saved setting in under the Saved Plots tab
- click on Reference Link
- a new browser window is opened
- copy the web address shown at the top of the newly opened plot window
The following video demonstrates all three ways to save plots: