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Paper: Using AladinLite and HiPS as a Visual Frontend in Traditional Archive Interfaces
Volume: 522, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXVII
Page: 161
Authors: McGlynn, T.; Pelletier, B.; Smale, A.; McDonald, L.
Abstract: Traditional archive web interfaces allow users to extract information by specifying position, time and other constraints and finding data from the observations that meet them. Until recently these interfaces have primarily been text based, unlike CLI tools which often have quite sophisticated GUI interfaces allowing graphical data selection. In the past few years, sophisticated JavaScript interfaces like the MAST Data Portal and ESASky have begun to close the gap between web and CLI tools. The Aladin-Lite JavaScript framework developed at the CDS provides a generic interface with data stored in the VO Hierarchical Progressive Survey (HiPS) format that has been used within these tools. In this paper we discuss our effort to add a visual front-end to our more traditional textual archive interfaces using AladinLite. There are two main aspects to this effort: We must develop appropriate summary content to allow users to effectively explore our holdings graphically, and we must develop a bridge between the new graphical elements of our interface and the existing archive framework. Our efforts have been quite successful and we believe that others may find our approach useful. We describe integration of AladinLite with our existing and discuss the implications for JavaScript based software libraries. The ecology of tools that have developed around the HiPS format is very useful. We discuss areas where we have been able to use the existing tools essentially unchanged, areas where we have had to build custom software, and how we have merged the two.
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