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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Superplot3d: an open source GUI tool for 3d trajectory visualisation and elementary processing

Whitehorn, Luke J.; Hawkes, Frances M.; Dublon, Ian


When acquiring simple three-dimensional (3d) trajectory data it is common to accumulate large coordinate data sets. In order to examine integrity and consistency of object tracking, it is often necessary to rapidly visualise these data. Ordinarily, to achieve this the user must either execute 3d plotting functions in a numerical computing environment or manually inspect data in two dimensions, plotting each individual axis. Superplot3d is an open source MATLAB script which takes tab delineated Cartesian data points in the form x,y,z and time and generates an instant visualization of the object’s trajectory in free-rotational three dimensions. Whole trajectories may be instantly presented, allowing for rapid inspection. Executable from the MATLAB command line (or deployable as a compiled standalone application) superplot3d also provides simple GUI controls to obtain rudimentary trajectory information, allow specific visualization of trajectory sections and perform elementary processing. Superplot3d thus provides a framework for non-programmers and programmers alike, to recreate recently acquired 3d object trajectories in rotatable 3d space. It is intended, via the use of a preference driven menu to be flexible and work with output from multiple tracking software systems. Source code and accompanying GUIDE .fig files are provided for deployment and further development.


Trajectory; Matlab; Gui; 3d; Framework

Published in

Source Code for Biology and Medicine
2013, Volume: 8, article number: 19

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Software Engineering
    Computational Mathematics
    Behavioral Sciences Biology

    Publication identifier


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