ADVANCED DATA VISUALIZATION in ASTROPHYSICS: The X3D PATHWAY

Frédéric P.A. Vogt, Chris I. Owen, Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro, Sanchayeeta Borthakur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most modern astrophysical data sets are multi-dimensional; a characteristic that can nowadays generally be conserved and exploited scientifically during the data reduction/simulation and analysis cascades. However, the same multi-dimensional data sets are systematically cropped, sliced, and/or projected to printable two-dimensional diagrams at the publication stage. In this article, we introduce the concept of the "X3D pathway" as a mean of simplifying and easing the access to data visualization and publication via three-dimensional (3D) diagrams. The X3D pathway exploits the facts that (1) the X3D 3D file format lies at the center of a product tree that includes interactive HTML documents, 3D printing, and high-end animations, and (2) all high-impact-factor and peer-reviewed journals in astrophysics are now published (some exclusively) online. We argue that the X3D standard is an ideal vector for sharing multi-dimensional data sets because it provides direct access to a range of different data visualization techniques, is fully open source, and is a well-defined standard from the International Organization for Standardization. Unlike other earlier propositions to publish multi-dimensional data sets via 3D diagrams, the X3D pathway is not tied to specific software (prone to rapid and unexpected evolution), but instead is compatible with a range of open-source software already in use by our community. The interactive HTML branch of the X3D pathway is also actively supported by leading peer-reviewed journals in the field of astrophysics. Finally, this article provides interested readers with a detailed set of practical astrophysical examples designed to act as a stepping stone toward the implementation of the X3D pathway for any other data set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume818
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

astrophysics
document markup languages
scientific visualization
diagrams
diagram
visualization
computer programs
animation
data reduction
standardization
readers
software
files
printing
format
international organization
cascades
products
simulation

Keywords

  • methods: data analysis
  • publications, bibliography
  • standards
  • techniques: miscellaneous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

ADVANCED DATA VISUALIZATION in ASTROPHYSICS : The X3D PATHWAY. / Vogt, Frédéric P.A.; Owen, Chris I.; Verdes-Montenegro, Lourdes; Borthakur, Sanchayeeta.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 818, No. 2, 115, 20.02.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vogt, Frédéric P.A. ; Owen, Chris I. ; Verdes-Montenegro, Lourdes ; Borthakur, Sanchayeeta. / ADVANCED DATA VISUALIZATION in ASTROPHYSICS : The X3D PATHWAY. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2016 ; Vol. 818, No. 2.
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