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Paper: Next Generation Search Interfaces
Volume: 495, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV (ADASS XXIV)
Page: 417
Authors: Roby, W.; Wu, X.; Ly, L.; Goldina, T.
Abstract: Astronomers are constantly looking for easier ways to access multiple data sets. While much effort is spent on VO, little thought is given to the types of User Interfaces we need to effectively search this sort of data. For instance, an astronomer might need to search Spitzer, WISE, and 2MASS catalogs and images then see the results presented together in one UI. Moving seamlessly between data sets is key to presenting integrated results. Results need to be viewed using first class, web based, integrated FITS viewers, XY Plots, and advanced table display tools. These components should be able to handle very large datasets. To make a powerful Web based UI that can manage and present multiple searches to the user requires taking advantage of many HTML5 features. AJAX is used to start searches and present results. Push notifications (Server Sent Events) monitor background jobs. Canvas is required for advanced result displays. Lesser known CSS3 technologies makes it all flow seamlessly together. At IPAC, we have been developing our Firefly toolkit for several years. We are now using it to solve this multiple data set, multiple queries, and integrated presentation problem to create a powerful research experience. Firefly was created in IRSA, the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive ( Firefly is the core for applications serving many project archives, including Spitzer, Planck, WISE, PTF, LSST and others. It is also used in IRSA's new Finder Chart and catalog and image displays.
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