The following terms are used to describe concepts and processes in Vis-Tools.

animation layer

A layer that visualizes events that occur in time, such as markers for particular events in ReportEventRecorder.csv or human migration.

Geospatial client

The Vis-Tools client that is primarily designed for the visualization of spatio-temporal simulation output.

heatmap layer

A layer that provides a way to show aggregated data by populating a heatmap image from simulation data then overlaying that onto the map. It makes sense for any data that aggregates well, such as populations of humans or vectors.

nodes layer

A layer with controls that affect the visual representation of a simulation’s nodes. The layer provides a set of bindable visual parameters that let you drive the visuals using the inputs and outputs of the simulation.


The visualization output that represents the simulation nodes as two-dimensional circles measured in pixels. This is the default representation.

preprocessing script

A Python file that runs on your simulation’s input and output files to create the visset file that indicates how your simulation’s data will be visualized in Vis-Tools. This script indicates how to represent nodes, whether to include migration, the colors to use, and more.


The visualization output that represents the simulation nodes as three-dimensional rectangles measured in meters.


The Python program that is included with Vis-Tools and generates a default preprocessing script from your simulation data. This preprocessing script can then be further modified.


A JSON file that is the input to the Vis-Tools HTML client component and describes how the simulation data is to be displayed. It contains a subset of the simulation’s demographics data (specifically, information about its nodes). The visset file is obtained by running a preprocessing script on your simulation’s input and output files.