publication 26-April-2018 23:08:24

Gaia Data Release 1. The archive visualisation service

Publication date: 13 December 2017

Authors: Moitinho, A., et al.

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume: 605
Page: A52
Year: 2017

Copyright: ESO

Context. The first Gaia data release (DR1) delivered a catalogue of astrometry and photometry for over a billion astronomical sources. Within the panoply of methods used for data exploration, visualisation is often the starting point and even the guiding reference for scientific thought. However, this is a volume of data that cannot be efficiently explored using traditional tools, techniques, and habits.

Aims. We aim to provide a global visual exploration service for the Gaia archive, something that is not possible out of the box for most people. The service has two main goals. The first is to provide a software platform for interactive visual exploration of the archive contents, using common personal computers and mobile devices available to most users. The second aim is to produce intelligible and appealing visual representations of the enormous information content of the archive.

Methods. The interactive exploration service follows a client-server design. The server runs close to the data, at the archive, and is responsible for hiding as far as possible the complexity and volume of the Gaia data from the client. This is achieved by serving visual detail on demand. Levels of detail are pre-computed using data aggregation and subsampling techniques. For DR1, the client is a web application that provides an interactive multi-panel visualisation workspace as well as a graphical user interface.

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Last Update: 13 December 2017

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