There are certain devices (such as stereo cameras, 3D lasers, the Kinect sensor, and so on) that provide 3D data—usually in the form of point clouds (organized/ordered or not). For this reason, it is extremely useful to have tools that visualize this type of data. In ROS, we have
rqt_rviz, which integrates an OpenGL interface with a 3D world that represents sensor data in a world representation, using the frame of the sensor that reads the measurements in order to draw such readings in the correct position in respect to each other.
roscore running, start
rqt_rviz (note that
rviz is still valid in ROS Kinetic) with:
$ rosrun rqt_rviz rqt_rviz
We will see the graphical interface ...