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Paper: Firefly and Python — New Ways to Visualize Data on the Web
Volume: 527, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIX
Page: 243
Authors: Roby, W.; Wu, X.; Dubois–Felmann, G.; Shupe, D.; Ly, L.; Goldina, T.; Wang, C.; Joliet, E.; Zhang, L.
Abstract: The Firefly open-source architecture has extensive web-based visualization capabilities. These FITS, table, and chart-viewing components include many UI features and are built to handle large data sets. The Firefly viewers work together so that data filtering or selection can be visualized concurrently using all the displays. In the past, only end-users or JavaScript developers had this type of control. We have recently upgraded the Firefly architecture to interface to Python in multiple ways. Firefly now includes a pip-installable package capable of sending data to Firefly from Python code. This package has become core to the LSST and future IPAC science platforms. We have also leveraged this work to add multiple JupyterLab extensions including a FITS file opener, visualization extensions, and widgets. This paper demonstrates these new capabilities and how astronomers using Jupyter notebooks or lab can easily send tabular or image data to Firefly. It will show how we built a network protocol around Redux actions to enable external control of Firefly from Python code. We will also discuss lessons learned from making our Jupyter lab extensions. 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, SOFIA and others.
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