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Paper: Analyzing Living Surveys: Visualization Beyond the Data Release
Volume: 495, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV (ADASS XXIV)
Page: 149
Authors: Buddelmeijer, H.; Noorishad, P.; Williams, D.; Ivanova, M.; Roerdink, J. B. T. M.; Valentijn, E. A.
Abstract: Surveys need to provide more than periodic data releases. Science often requires data that is not captured in such releases. This mismatch between the constraints set by a fixed data release and the needs of the scientists is solved in the Astro-WISE information system by extending its request-driven data handling into the analysis domain. This leads to Query-Driven Visualization, where all data handling is automated and scalable by exploiting the strengths of data pulling. Astro-WISE is data-centric: new data creates itself automatically, if no suitable existing data can be found to fulfill a request. This approach allows scientists to visualize exactly the data they need, without any manual data management, freeing their time for research. The benefits of query-driven visualization are highlighted by searching for distant quasars in KiDS, a 1500 square degree optical survey. KiDS needs to be treated as a living survey to minimize the time between observation and (spectral) followup. The first window of opportunity would be missed if it were necessary to wait for data releases. The results from the default processing pipelines are used for a quick and broad selection of quasar candidates. More precise measurements of source properties can subsequently be requested to downsize the candidate set, requiring partial reprocessing of the images. Finally, the raw and reduced pixels themselves are inspected by eye to rank the final candidate list. The quality of the resulting candidate list and the speed of its creation were only achievable due to query driven-visualization of the living archive.
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