Programming is often necessary when working with SAR data, especially in scientific contexts. The development of analysis tools, processing chains and models requires fundamental knowledge of programming techniques.
SAR-EDU therefore provides a short overview of four programming languages which are commonly used in geosciences.
Python is an open source programming language.Its usage in geosciences is recently rapidly increasing. Aside the advantages of the open source technology, the high interoperability with other development environments and software packages and the clear, simple readable Syntax are major features of Python.
The Interactive Data Language (IDL) is a vastly used programming language with in the community of geosciences. The software is distributed by Exelis Visual Information Solutions. IDL is very useful for image processing purposes due to its close connection to the image processing software ENVI.
MATLAB is an interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numerical computation. It is distributed by Mathworks, Inc. MATLAB is very powerful in processing matrix operations as well as mathematical operations based on vectors.
Octave is an open source interactive programming language specifically suited for vectorizable numerical calculations. It provides an interface to many standard libraries of numerical mathematics. The syntax of Octave resembles that of Matlab. An Octave program usually runs unmodified on Matlab.