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Scientific Graphing Software Tools Fill Important Niche

Scientists have tough demands when it comes to presenting their data graphically, whether for presentation or publication. To meet these demands, they used to call upon the skills of technical graphic artists, but the resulting cycles of corrections and alterations were often inefficient and taxing to both parties. "You handed a rough idea of what you wanted to a graphic artist," says former biologist Robert Simons, explaining how he came to write the graphing package CoPlot, from CoHort Sof

Franklin Hoke
Scientists have tough demands when it comes to presenting their data graphically, whether for presentation or publication. To meet these demands, they used to call upon the skills of technical graphic artists, but the resulting cycles of corrections and alterations were often inefficient and taxing to both parties.

"You handed a rough idea of what you wanted to a graphic artist," says former biologist Robert Simons, explaining how he came to write the graphing package CoPlot, from CoHort Software, Berkeley, Calif. The artist then would produce an approximation of the conception, says Simons, and lengthy revisions would follow. "It cost a lot of money, it was a pain, and it took a long time. And then the journal would come back and say, `These two lines are too thin, these are too thick, and everything

In the 1980s, however, software developers like Simons began to release scientific graphing and plotting...

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