Linking Visualization and Understanding in Astronomy #AAS223 #AASviz

by Guest January 5, 2014

This is a guest post by Alyssa Goodman and accompanies her talk by the same name, presented at the AAS Meeting, at 11:40 AM on Monday. Talk slides will be online after the talk. Alyssa is a Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution. She studies interstellar gas and […]


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Plotting to a File in Python

by Jess K September 20, 2013

Have you ever wanted to save a Python/Matplotlib image directly to a file instead of having it displayed in an X11 window? I needed to do this for a project where I used qsub/PBS to submit jobs to a cluster and I wanted to plot some results for each run and save them to a […]


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Immersing Yourself in Your Data: Using Virtual World Engines to Solve “Big” Data

by Guest March 25, 2013

This is a guest post by Alex Cioc, who is a sophomore at Caltech, working on new data visualization techniques.  In the era of “Big Data” science, the real challenges come not from the sheer volume of data obtained but rather from the complexity of these data. For example, in a typical sky survey we […]


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Should astronomy journals accept PDF figures for publication?

by Eli November 6, 2012

PS and EPS figures have been the bread and butter of astronomy for decades. In turn, the astronomy journals accepted the PS and EPS figures for publication. Recently, plotting packages are supporting PDF files more than the EPS and PS formats. An EPS file was originally developed as a language to tell a program how […]


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Filtergraph: A Web-based Data Visualization Application

by Guest October 15, 2012

Dan Burger is a Computer Science graduate student at Vanderbilt University. He has been working with the Astroinformatics Group on how to dynamically handle and visualize large volumes of data. Datasets. If you work in astronomy, chances are you have them. They are hardly the romantic vision that you had when you decided to go into […]


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Digital Publishing Steps Beyond the PDF [Link]

by Jessica Lu July 20, 2012

Open Access journals in other disciplines are starting to provide value-add services beyond static PDFs or cross-referencing with other papers. One such example discussed in the article below is a feature called figshare now being used in the F1000 OpenAccess journal in biology and medicine. Figshare and F1000 Research Shake Up Traditional Academic Publishing Format […]


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SAOImage DS9: Version 7 Released

by Guest June 13, 2012

This is a guest post by William (Bill) Joye at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Bill is the primary writer and maintainer of the SAOImage DS9 tool. We are pleased to announce the availability of the new public release of SAOImage DS9 7.0.  More information about this package (including download links) is available at our website. […]


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Tutorial for embedding 3D interactive graphics into PDF

by Guest March 7, 2012

Josh Peek (@jegpeek) is a Hubble Fellow at Columbia University, specializing in the ISM in and around disk galaxies. He has a fascination with data presentation and design. As an astronomer studying the complex three-dimensional structures of the interstellar medium, I’ve been taken with the idea of presenting that information in a compelling and interactive […]


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Pretty plotting of spectra? [Ask AstroBetter]

by Jane January 27, 2012

What tools (or self-rolled code) do people prefer when making big publishable figures of spectra?  The example given was an echelle spectrum, where the spectrum is loooong, and has many spectral orders to stack onto one or more pages of the journal. Since this is a shamelessly self-generated Ask AstroBetter, I will award a beer […]


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Digitize that figure, fast

by Jane November 17, 2011

Here’s a common workflow:  “I want to overplot a curve from the literature on my new plot.  I could write the author and wait several days for them to dig up the plot file and send me the digitized version, but I want to compare now!” One solution is to digitize the published plot. I […]


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