Getting Started with VAPOR

Welcome to Getting Started with VAPOR. All of the steps necessary to start working with VAPOR can be found here. VAPOR provides an interactive 3D visualization environment that currently runs on most UNIX, Mac OS X, and Windows systems equipped with modern 3D graphics cards. We provide binary installers that work on all supported platforms and we strongly recommend that you use a binary distribution for your installation.

Note (for users at NCAR/UCAR):   VAPOR is available at UCAR on the geyser/caldera visualization/analysis clusters.  Information on data analysis and visualization resources available at NCAR may be found on the NCAR/CISL documentation site. Along with this information, you will find instructions on using visualization programs at NCAR as well as instructions for using VAPOR in the Yellowstone environment.

Getting Ready for Installation

  1. Read the Release Notes for the current version.
  2. Download the appropraiate install package for your platform.


  1. Follow the Install Guide for the platform you are installing on.

First Steps

  1. Prepare your data set for use with vaporgui as described in the Data Preparation Guide.
  • Note:  This step is optional with some model outputs such as WRF-ARW, MOM4, CAM, and GRIMs.  Output from these models can be visualized directly, with no data preparation. Example data sets may be found here.
  1. Run vaporgui and load your data set as documented here.

Next Steps

  1. Explore the Documentation and Training pages for more example data sets, usage guides, and reference material.
  2. If you need assistance, help is available under the Support menu.