Panning and Zooming the Observable Universe with Prefix-Matching Indices and Pixel-Based Overlays

Four decreasing level-of-detail versions of a sky image tile (for demonstration purposes, an SDSS image). - Timothy Luciani, University of Pittsburgh

Authors: Luciani, T., Cherinka, B., Myers, S., Sun, B., Wood-Vassey, W. M., Labrinidis, A., Marai, G. E.

Publication: IEEE Visualization 2012, Large-Scale Data Analysis and Visualization Symposium, Seattle, WA, pp. 1-8

IEEE LDAV'12 Best-Paper Runner-Up (Honorable Mention)

We introduce a web-based, client-server computing infrastructure to assist the interactive navigation of large-scale astronomy observations. Large image datasets are partitioned into a spatial index structure that allows prefix-matching of spatial objects. In conjunction with pixel-based overlays, this approach allows fetching, displaying, panning and zooming of gigabit panoramas of the sky in real time. Images from three sky surveys (SDSS, FIRST and simulated LSST results) are cross-registered and integrated as overlays, allowing cross-spectrum analysis of astronomy observations. The front-end of the infrastructure uses the web technologies WebGL and HTML5 to enable cross-platform, web-based functionality. Our approach attains interactive rendering framerates; its power and flexibility enables us to serve the needs of the astronomy community. Evaluation on a galaxy case study, as well as feedback from domain experts emphasize the benefits of this visual approach to the observational astronomy field.

Index Terms: Data Fusion and Integration, Scalability Issues, Zooming and Navigation Techniques, Geographic/Geospatial Visualization

Date: April 14, 2012 - April 15, 2012

Document: View PDF

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