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  1. Objective
  2. ViRBO Interfaces
    1. The standard web interface
    2. The search interface
  3. Tools
    1. Collaboration
    2. Visualization
    3. Search
    4. Data Access

1. Objective

  • Summarize existing ViRBO web interfaces
  • Summarize existing ViRBO tools

Throughout the presentation, discuss ideas for modifying interfaces and tools for RBSP purposes.

For more detailed information about ViRBO's status and goals, see presentations/2010AGU.

2. ViRBO Interfaces

There are two ways of finding information about radiation belt-related data, software, and tools using ViRBO:

  1. A standard web interface created by a scientist which highlights important information in a structured manner.
  2. A search interface that returns a list of documents given a constrained search.

2.1. The standard web interface

  • Contains links to information about data. Uses the MediaWiki content management system (same as used by Wikipedia)
  • Is used to communicate to scientists everything that we know about a given data product
  • Is frequently updated
  • Often extracts data from or links to information ViRBO's search database
  • Example: POES
  • Example: RBW


  • Suggest changes to the page
  • Use the wiki to post documents and notes for informal science meetings?

2.2. The search interface

  • Not for the general user
  • All structured metadata is stored here, including SPASE records
  • Some of the text and images shown on the POES page was extracted from SPASE records stored in the search database
  • All of the information on the POES page could be obtained by browsing through the results of a search on the search interface.


  • Post a link to a special searches on the RBSP project page. Example: rbsp (Search results are available in XML and can easily be transformed into a more attractive HTML page.)

3. Tools

  • The ordering here is roughly the order of emphasis in the project.
  • We are now focusing on Search and Data Access.

3.1. Collaboration

Primary effort has been in posting agenda, meeting notes, and documents to the ViRBO wiki. Motivation:

3.2. Visualization

Primary effort has been in development of

  • Image servlet - hides all of the GUI complexities. Example: click first plot link at [1]
  • Web applet (reveals some GUI controls). Example: click plot that appears after clicking a plot link at [2]
  • Webstart application (has everything)


  • (Already planned) Develop a set of RBSP bookmarks that are designed by RBSP scientists and updated as-needed
  • Develop a set of RBSP data views using iSWA or ART? (We are pursuing the possibility of them integrating Autoplot-generated png files into their system.)

3.3. Search

Primary effort has been in the development of basic SPASE Records that describe satellites and their instruments. Example (draft) [3]


  • (Already planned) Create metadata for important digital objects related to mission. Connect metadata to other metadata. Example search on rbspice
  • Set up service whereby any document or news item sent to is either automatically posted or posted by human. We now have a service for

3.4. Data Access

  • Any data viewed in Autoplot can be saved to disk as an ASCII file.
  • We are developing a data service that allows power users to pull data into analysis software without needing to
    1. understand a file format
    2. purchase or use a special analysis package
    3. install new software


  • The service may not be ready for wide-spread use by launch time
  • Better to maintain a page linked to from that describes all of the different ways that people pull RBSP data into analysis software and provide links to routines and relevant web pages? We already have a similar page for dealing with CDF files.
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