What is Gpivtools?

Gpivtools is a package that contains command-line driven programs for the so-called (Digital) Particle Image Velocimetry technique ( PIV ). The programs perform image evaluation, resulting into a velocity field of the flow, validation programs and post-processing programs to manipulate the data or to extract information from the data (statistics, derivatives). There are some additional programs and scripts for data and image format conversions, chain-processing, batch-processing and for generating graphical output. Though the command-line driven tools are mainly intended for non-graphic processing, its outputs may be visualized in a graphical way by displaying with the aid of gnuplot. A Graphic User Interface program ( Gpiv ) is available in a separate package. This program controls all the processes interactively and displays its results in a more advanced way.

Unpacking and compilation

You can download the package here. For this package you will need:


The most up-to-date code, that includes patches before a formal release is issued, can also be found in the Version Control System repositories at gpivtools-git. This is testing software that might include bugs and errors.

Generally, unpacking, compilation and installation is quite straightforward with:

gzip -d gpiv-*.tar.gz
tar -xvf gpiv-*.tar
make (to build the programs)
make install
make uninstall (removes installed files and directories that have been created)

Gpivtools has now been included in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Users of this system can install the software by means of the apt-tools and aptitude, without to be bothered about library dependencies. Gpivtools is available for most of the computer architectures GNU/Debian is supporting, as well as for the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD-i386 distribution. So, pick your ARCH taste ;)

Use of the Gpivtools

In order to understand how the programs work, just type the program name with -h option. For the majority of the programs there are manual pages as well. Every program needs its specific parameters. The program parameters may be defined in a parameter file with its specific process key and parameter name. The image parameters of raw data images may be defined in a header file (filename.h), followed by its value. All required parameters can be defined in order of priority:
  • as a command line option.
  • in the image header ./filename.h (only for raw binary format) or in the local parameter file ./gpivrc.
  • in the personal parameter file ~/.gpivrc.
  • in the system-wide parameter file (mostly in /etc/gpiv.conf).


I hope that the programs will work fine and that you'll enjoy them. If you would like to know more about PIV, wants to extend the code for your purposes or need some help, do not hesitate to drop me a line.

Gerber van der Graaf
email: gerber_graaf AT users DOT sourceforge DOT net

Last modified: Thu Nov 3 12:00:27 CET 2005