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Webviz: ROS data visualization in the browser

Hi everyone,

I work on the visualization tools team at Cruise, a self-driving car company in San Francisco. For over a year we’ve been building an internal web-based tool, called Webviz, for robotics data visualization. We recently split apart our internal code to release an open source version of Webviz, which currently includes panels functionally similar to RViz, rqt_runtime_monitor, rqt_plot, rqt_image_view, rostopic echo, and rqt_console. We’re excited to share this with the ROS community and we’d love for you to try it out:

Our hope is that folks in the community can use Webviz to make immediate improvements to their development & debugging workflows. Some key features:

  • You can drag .bag files directly into Webviz in your browser; no installation required. All the data is processed and visualized locally, not sent to any server. (Note: we’re mostly supporting the latest version of Google Chrome right now — use other browsers at your own risk :slight_smile:)

  • Multiple tools and views on the same data can be arranged in one window. The configuration can be exported as JSON and shared with other users.

  • Supports visualizing markers, TF frames, occupancy grids, point clouds, camera images (with ImageMarkers), console logs, and raw message data.

Webviz is under active internal development, and we’re regularly pushing updates out to the open source repo. We’d also welcome feedback and pull requests from the community on GitHub. There’s a lot of potential for future improvements, including:

  • Connecting to a live ROS master via WebSocket (we have an internal implementation of this, but the server is heavily dependent on our build system — we’d like to explore compatibility with rosbridge_suite, whose protocol is quite similar to ours, aside from some special behavior related to datatypes).

  • Pre-loading all data from a bag file into charts and other visualizations as fast as possible, rather than playing through them in realtime.

  • Performance and usability improvements throughout the application.

If you want to read more about Webviz and our motivations for building it, check out our recent blog post:

Looking forward to your feedback!
:turtle:

8 Likes

Thank you very much, that will be very useful. Already sent it to a student who is working with ROS experiment data on a non-ROS system but needs to inspect the bag file sometimes.

Copy-pasting the layout is a brilliant touch. If it was possible to embed it into the link, or worked without user input, that would be even better. I found the empty start screen with somewhat unintuitive. Will post it on the Github.

The pre-loading function sounds extremely attractive. We often record bags with a <1fps camera to be able to flip through the progress in rqt. Would be great if it worked in this as well.

Once again, great contribution. Thanks a lot.

1 Like

How add panel view LaserScan?

The 3D panel supports visualizing LaserScans as points in space. The topic should be present in the top-left menu. Here’s an example using data from the MIT Stata center:

For future questions about how to use Webviz, please leave them as GitHub Issues where it will be easier for us to track them!