Interoperability of Visualization Software and Data Models is Not an Achievable Goal
The scientific visualization community faces a crisis: there exist many individual tools that can be used to perform visualization, but there is little, if any, hope of being able to use tools from different sources as part of a single application. As a result, our community is fractured, and can be characterized as "islands of capability." The purpose of this panel is to probe the issues that prevent such interoperability, and engage in frank discussion about how our community can rectify these maladies. The issues to be discussed include but are not limited to: (1)lack of "standards" for data storage and modelling of N-dimensional scientific data, similar to those used for raster image files; (2)lack of "standard" interfaces for common visualization tools; (3)the visualization needs of the computational science research community, who are the primary consumers of technology from the visualization community; (4)lack of organization within our community to push for definition and adoption of such "standards;" (5)lack of organization within our community to serve as a "broker" and "promoter" for tools that might conform to even the weakest of standards. The panelist lineup represents a diverse cross-section of expertise and opinions about the panel topic. The panelists themselves are in disagreement about the severity of the problem, and potential solutions. The topic of this panel is highly germane to future growth of visualization as a science, and promises to be highly engaging for panelists and audience members alike.