FITS Manager - user manual

 

 

 

 

FITS Manager

User Manual

 

Rev. 1.0


 

Table of Contents
Introduction....................................................................................................................................................... 3
Key Features and Functionalities.................................................................................................. 4
System Requirements.................................................................................................................................. 5
Installation......................................................................................................................................................... 6
Getting Started............................................................................................................................................... 6
Import a directory that contains FITS files........................................................................................... 6
View the directory with several different views................................................................................. 7
Search among the imported FITS files....................................................................................... 7
View detail information of a specified FITS File............................................................... 8
Comment................................................................................................................................................................ 10
Grouping................................................................................................................................................................. 10
Annotation........................................................................................................................................................... 10
Rating...................................................................................................................................................................... 11
Advanced Functionalities................................................................................................................... 11
Version Control (beta)................................................................................................................................... 11
SAMP (beta)......................................................................................................................................................... 12


 

Introduction

FITS Manager is a tool that aiming to provide powerful and easy-of-use management functions for individual astronomers, and at the same time leveraging these functions with data analysis tools and services, including not only VO-ready ones but also legacy applications.
FITS Manager is dedicated to both professional and amateur astronomers. In professional data centers, database management systems (DBMS) and data grid technologies are used to manage large number of data files and their metadata.  Finding and using such DBMS and professional data management technologies are difficult matters for most of astronomers. Thus, there is a gap between data analysis and data management for personal users. On the other hand, scientific data available for the whole community are increasing sharply. Meanwhile, taking advantages of fast network and cheap storage devices, personal collections are also increasing rapidly. For an astronomer working on astronomy, it is very common to find hundreds or thousands of FITS files in his or her personal laptop. Therefore, it can be challenging for astronomers to organize, seek and manage their FITS data without using proper tools.
FITS Manager is a collaboration project between China-VO and VO-India. It is a set of commonly used VO toolkits. Based on the OSGi framework in Java, FITS Manager is extensible, flexible and cross-platform. All features are integrated with a plugin-like fashion.


Figure 1: FITS Manager

Key Features and Functionalities

FITS Manager focuses on the management of small and moderately large number of FITS files hosted on astronomer's personal computer, providing index, search, preview, and external linked functionalities.

 

System Requirements

FITS Manager is implemented in Java SE 6.0. To run the program, the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6.0 is required. As FITS Manager is distributed with a zipped archive online, an unzip program might be also required for the extraction.

Installation

文本框: $ chmod +x run.sh   $ chmod +x run

 

Getting Started

Import a directory that contains FITS files

You need to specify a target directory so that FITS Manager can take effects upon it. FITS Manager supports local file system browsing in the way that similar to Windows ® Explorer. To use the file system explorer of FITS Manager, you need to click the Explorer tab at the top-left corner of the graphical user interface, as shown below (Figure 2):

Figure 2: The Explorer of FITS Manager

The accessible file system will be visualized as a tree. You can locate to the target directory by expending and selecting the desired node.

 

View the directory with several different views

When a target directory is opened, the Explorer plugin displays the contents of it. The context can be displayed in several forms: thumbnails, list, detail, tiles and icons. To switch between different views, click the “View>” button on the left of the address bar, and you will see a menu, which allows you to choose a view (Figure 3). After a view has been chosen, the Explorer plugin refreshes the view automatically. You can also right-click the mouse and refresh the view manually.

Figure 3: View Selection of the Explorer

 

Search among the imported FITS files

The search functionality can be very beneficial if you have to manage thousands of FITS files. Imagine that you hope to find a FITS file that records some certain data; you may need to search among the headers of many FITS files. FITS Manager therefore provides a way to perform such operations recursively.

Figure 4: The context menu

Right-click the Explorer, you will see a context menu (Figure 4). Except for the customization menu of views and sorting criteria, there are also some useful tools. Click the “Search FITS File” context menu, and you will see the searching dialog as shown below (Figure 5):

Figure 5: The FITS File Search Dialog

As you can see, you can either search in the current file list or search in database. If you perform a file search, you may choose to search sub-directories or not.

View detail information of a specified FITS File

If the current directory contains valid FITS file, you will get a more powerful context menu, as FITS Manager is optimized for FITS files.

Figure 6: The context menu for FITS Files

Click the “View FITS” item, you will have a detail view to the selected FITS file, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: The detail view of a FITS File

 

Comment

FITS Manager allows you to comment any file or directory, so that you may take notes to important files. This functionality is useful if you need to record extra information for some FITS files.
To utilize the comment functionality, choose a certain file, and then right comment on the comment panel.

Figure 9: The comment panel

 

Grouping

FITS Manager provides a category system so files even in different directories can be grouped according to the needs. Before you can take the advantage of this functionality, you will have to create one or more category.

 

Annotation

(Undocumented)

Rating

Some audio players, such as iTunes™, provides a mechanism to distinguish the users’ preference to any certain song. Likewise, FITS Manager allows users to rate the FITS files in a five-star manner. The rating result can be used as a criterion for the searching later on.

Figure 10: Five-star rating

To use this functionality, right-click a certain FITS file, and select the “Rate” menu. You can also reset the rating result.

Advanced Functionalities

Version Control (beta)

Sometimes, the header of FITS files could be edited frequently. In order to track the changes as well as prevent accidental modifications, FITS Manager provides the version control mechanism.
Before you apply some modification upon a FITS file, you can backup the file by triggering the “Version Control” item of the context menu. FITS Manager backups the file and generates a record on its versioning database, detailing the information of this backup process. If, by the changes you destroy some important data of the header, you can easily restore the FITS to its original state. (Figure 11)
Note: Currently the version control feature of FITS Manager is at the beta stage. FITS Manager will perform a full backup during each operation. In another word, the backup process is NOT incremental, thus redundancies would exist.

Figure 11: Backup history listing for a FITS file.

SAMP (beta)

SAMP (Simple Application Messaging Protocol) is a messaging protocol that enables astronomy software tools to interoperate and communicate. It is based on XML-RCP, which requires a hub as a center to control the communication. The hub has to be started before communication, and then clients (Aladin, Topcat, FITS Manager, etc.) connect to the hub. After establishing these connections, they could send/receive messages to/from each other. More information at here: http://www.ivoa.net/cgi-bin/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/SampInfo .
Currently FITS Manager supports SAMP thanks to the integration of JSAMP library. (Official site: http://software.astrogrid.org/doc/p/jsamp/1.2/), but it remains to be a beta feature. This start & connect process is complicated and not user friendly. As FITS Manager starts, it activates the hub and connect itself to the hub automatically. However, it could not detect the existing hub currently, which will be improved in the future releases.

Figure 12 is an example demonstrating how FITS interoperates with Aladin, the interactive sky atlas by CDS.


Figure 12: Interoperation

 


Last Updated on Oct 5th, 2011. 

© 2015, China-VO