Thursday, December 19, 2019

OPUS Update for December 2019 - User-Selectable Units and More

This month we are pleased to introduce a major new feature: user-selectable units during search. We have also made some minor improvements to the Select Metadata dialog, made minor adjustments to the OPUS IDs for Hubble observations, and made minor changes to the product types available for download.

User-Selectable Units

Many search fields now allow the user to select which units to use for the input values. For example, Observed Ring Radius is usually in units of "km". However, it is now possible to select other distance units such as "m", "Rj" (Jupiter radii), or "Rs" (Saturn radii). Time fields (like Observation Duration) are normally in units of "secs". However, it is now possible to select other time units such as "msecs", "minutes", "hours", or "days". To select a unit, simply use the dropdown box at the top of the search box:

Preprogrammed ranges (Wavelength and Observed Ring Radius) will be presented in the selected units.

If there are already values entered into any of the input fields, they will automatically be converted when a new unit is selected. Only one unit can be selected for all of the input fields for a particular metadata field.

Note that when viewing metadata fields, such as on the Detail tab or in the slideshow or table views, the data will always be presented in its native units, not the units selected for search.

Select Metadata Enhancements

In the Select Metadata dialog, any metadata fields that have been selected on the Search tab will be presented first. This is an attempt to make your experience more efficient by assuming that if you're searching on a particular field, you probably also want to see that field displayed when you view the metadata. The fields presented under Current Search Fields will also be shown under their respective categories, and can be selected or deselected in either location.

In addition, it is now possible to download a CSV file directly from the Select Metadata dialog using the currently chosen fields, even if those fields haven't been "saved" as a permanent selection. This makes it easier to download a CSV file containing particular fields without pressing additional buttons, and also allows you to download a CSV file containing fields that you don't normally want to see in the OPUS UI (by downloading but not saving the field changes). If you are viewing the Browse tab, the CSV file will contain all of the current search results. If you are viewing the Cart tab, the CSV file will contain all items in the main cart (not in the recycle bin).

Hubble OPUS IDs

A small number of Hubble observations have multiple versions that were downlinked at different times. In these cases we make the filename portion of the OPUS ID 9 characters instead of 8 to allow the observations to be distinguished. This has slightly increased the number of NICMOS observations available.

Download Product Types

Some New Horizons observations have multiple versions that were downlinked in different formats but are otherwise identical. We provide the highest-quality versions as Raw Image or Calibrated Image and now provide all additional versions together as Raw Image Alternate Downlink or Calibrated Image Alternate Downlink. Also, the list of product types has been reversed, placing the most important types (e.g. actual mission data) first and secondary data (inventory files, preview images) last. 

Happy Holidays from the OPUS team (Rob, Dave, and Debby) and we look forward to serving you in the New Year. As always, we actively solicit all feedback, comments, and suggestions.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

OPUS Updates for November 2019 - Recycle Bin and Multiple Search Fields

This month we are pleased to present two major improvements to OPUS: a new recycle bin concept and the ability to do multiple searches on the same search field.

The Recycle Bin

The cart acts as a convenient repository for observations you want to download or explore further. However, once you've added many observations to the cart, you may find that you have extraneous ones that you don't really need. Until now, the only way to remove these was to return to the Browse Results tab, find the observations, and remove them from the cart. Now you have another option: you can remove them from the cart directly on the Cart tab.

Removing an observation from the cart while viewing the Cart tab is performed in the same way as it is while viewing the Browse Results tab, but in this case the observation is not just removed - it is moved into a special recycle bin. Observations in the recycle bin are indicated by a large "recycle" icon:

or, in the Table View, by a green line drawn through the row:

You toggle whether an observation is in the cart or the recycle bin by using Ctrl+Click on a thumbnail or table row, the icon in the mini-toolbar inside the thumbnail (which now looks like a recycle or return glyph instead of a cart), the checkbox in the table view, or selecting an appropriate option from the "hamburger" menu. You can also add or remove an entire range of observations by using Shift+Click or one of the options in the "hamburger" menu.

Observations in the recycle bin are not included in any downloads (CSV or archive) and are not included in the statistics in the Download Data panel (Total Size, Total Files, or any of the Product Type counts). This allows you to transfer observations to and from the recycle bin while monitoring the size of the resulting download.

There are also now three options to manage the cart:

You can empty the cart, which empties both the main cart and the recycle bin. You can empty just the recycle bin, which will leave the main contents of your cart alone. And you can restore all of the observations in the recycle bin back to the cart. Note the number after the latter option, which indicates the total number of observations currently in the recycle bin. The number next to the Cart tab at the top indicates only the number of observations in the main cart, ignoring the recycle bin.

Finally, the download links, which were previously above the main cart gallery, have been moved to the Download Data panel.

Multiple Search Fields

It is now possible to perform multiple searches on the same numeric, string, or date/time search field. The searches are "OR"ed together. To add a new search, click on the "+(OR)" button to the right of an existing search. To remove a search, click on the trashcan icon.

For example, you could search for observations in volumes COISS_2001, COISS_2002, or COISS_2003:

You could also search for ring images that were not taken within 30 degrees of the ring plane, on either the lit or unlit side:

As always, we appreciate your use of OPUS and actively solicit feedback with comments, complaints, suggestions, or kudos!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

OPUS Updates for October 2019 - Citing OPUS and QR Codes

We have some major improvements coming in the next month, but this month we have a simple one for you - information on how to cite OPUS in your presentation, poster, or paper.

How to Cite OPUS (and QR Codes!)

The Help menu now has a new option: Citing OPUS. This new help page gives you information on how to cite OPUS in your presentation, poster, or paper, as well as a copy of the NASA PDS logo for your use. Finally, it includes customized QR codes for your poster or presentation that directly link to OPUS, your current search in OPUS, or your entire current state in OPUS (including which tab and observations you're looking at, etc.). Note that it does not include the contents of your cart. This is a perfect way to share your search with audience members in a way that they can easily reproduce.

As always, keep those suggestions and comments coming!

Monday, September 30, 2019

OPUS Updates for September 2019 - Preprogrammed Ranges

This month we are pleased to bring you a new feature that aids in searching on ring radius or wavelength.

Preprogrammed Ranges

Users often need to search for standard ranges for ring radius, such as the inner and outer limits of Saturn's A ring or the semimajor axis of Enceladus. A similar problem occurs for wavelength; a user may wish to search for "blue" images but have to look up exactly what wavelengths that corresponds to. Both of these problems are now solved by the existence of preprogrammed ranges. When you click on the "Min" input box of the Observed Ring Radius field (available under Ring Geometry Constraints), a dropdown box will appear with a large selection of satellite semimajor axes and ring limits for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Simply clicking on one of these options will fill in both the minimum and maximum value:

Alternatively, you may start to type the name of a feature, and the list of options will be limited to those that contain the string you've typed:

If only a single result is left, hitting ENTER will automatically fill in the values.

A similar feature is available for the Wavelength field, with colors taken from the PDS4 dictionary, CRC, and Johnson UBV filters.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

Friday, August 30, 2019

OPUS Updates for August 2019 - Cart Improvements

This month we are pleased to bring you a number of updates to the cart and the selection of observations to put in the cart.

Selecting Ranges

There are several ways to select ranges of observations to put in the cart, or remove from the cart. To indicate the beginning of the range you can shift+click on a thumbnail or table row, or select "Start add range to cart here" or "Start remove range from cart here" from the hamburger menu at the bottom of each thumbnail or on the left side of each table row. If the observation you are starting with is not currently in the cart, you will be starting an "add range" operation; if the observation is already in the cart, you will be starting a "remove range" operation. To end the range, you either shift+click on a second observation, or select "End add range to cart here " or "End remove range from cart here", as appropriate.

To help you keep track of where the range started, the starting thumbnail or table row will show a flashing green square. In addition, there is now a small window in the lower left corner of the gallery or table views that gives you the relevant information. Then you can scroll away, or use the slider to jump much further away, and still know that you are in the middle of a range select operation and where that range started.

Details about Products Available for Download

The Cart tab now shows complete information about the data products available for download. For each product type (such as "Raw image"), you are given the number of observations in the cart that are providing that product type, the number of files (including data files, label files, and support files) that will be included in the archive, and the total size of those files. You may (de)select individual product types, entire categories, or all product types to limit the download to just those products you need. As you make your selections, the "Total Size" and "Total Files" fields at the top will update.

New Location for Download Links

When you select Download Data Archive or Download URL Archive, a special window will pop up in the lower right corner showing the link to use for the current download, plus a history of previous downloads you have requested during this session. You may toggle the presence of this window by clicking on the Download History button at the bottom (or dismiss it using the X in the corner) and you can remove all the links from the history by clicking the Clear All button. Click on one of the links to start the actual download operation in your browser.

Please keep those suggestions coming!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

OPUS Updates for July 2019

This month we are pleased to bring you a number of features requested by our users (that's you!). As a reminder, feedback is always welcome and encouraged, and we put a high priority on implementing requests or fixing bugs that are affecting our users.

Create a New Search Based on an Existing Observation

  1. Using whatever method you like, find an observation that you are interested in.
  2. Display that observation in the Detail tab. There are two easy ways to do this: you can either hover your mouse over the thumbnail and click on the icon in the mini toolbar, or you can click on the "hamburger" menu and then select Show detail.

  3. On the Detail tab you will find a magnifying glass search icon next to every metadata field that contains a string or a multiple-choice value (indicated by checkboxes on the Search tab).
  4. Clicking on a search icon will create a new OPUS in a separate browser tab. This OPUS will contain exactly one search term: the particular metadata field you selected equal to the value for the observation you were looking at. For example, for the observation selected above:

    If you click on the magnifying glass next to "Observation Name: ISS_045RI_RDCOLSCNB001_PRIME" you will get a new OPUS with that single search:

Slider Now Available on Cart Tab

The new slider, which allows you to quickly position the thumbnail gallery or metadata table to a specific place in the result set, is now available on the Cart tab. This helps you more easily browse through the items in your cart if you have added hundreds or thousands of observations. We have also slightly reorganized the navigation buttons on the Cart tab, allowing you to more easily find those that will download your cart data. Look for many more improvements to the cart in a future release.

You Can Print Help Documents

All of the Help documents (such as the Getting Start Guide, the FAQ, and the API Guide) now include a button that will open the document in a new browser tab. At that point you can print the document to your printer or to a PDF file for future use. This is especially useful for the API Guide, which you can use as a reference while writing your own software to access the OPUS API.

Select Metadata Dialog Now Includes Help

The Select Metadata dialog now includes instructions for use:

Please keep those suggestions coming!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Announcing the Release of OPUS3!

The Ring-Moon Systems Node of NASA's Planetary Data System is proud to announce the public release of OPUS3, commemorating the 10th anniversary of OPUS.

This new version of OPUS has been under development for the past 12 months, and features a modern look-and-feel, responsive design for desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices, easier-to-use interface, improved documentation, and faster back-end server.

There are too many changes to OPUS to list here, but there are two guides available to help you transition to the new interface, both available under the new Help menu:
  • The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. In there you can click on What's new in OPUS3? for a brief discussion of the differences between the previous version of OPUS and this new release.
  • The Getting Started guide. This is a more comprehensive presentation of all of the major features in OPUS3.
Whether you are a new user or have been using OPUS since its initial release in 2009, we strongly encourage you to read through the Getting Started guide. There are likely many features of OPUS that you never knew existed.

As always, we welcome and encourage feedback. You can submit comments or questions through the Questions/Feedback link at the top of the OPUS3 screen, or you can contact us on Twitter at @pdsopus.

You can try it out here. We hope you enjoy the new version of OPUS!

Monday, February 11, 2019

OPUS Updates to Product Downloading

We have recently added two new features to make downloading of data products easier. First, a reminder about how to use our download system:

  1. After refining your search criteria, browse the thumbnail gallery by clicking on the "Browse Results" tab.
  2. When you find an observation you want to save, click on the checkmark in the little toolbar at the bottom of the thumbnail.
  3. Once you've selected all of the observations you care about, click on the "Selections" tab.
  4. You will see the total size of the data products that will go into the zip file you can download. You will also see a list of product types that you can select or deselect to control what goes in your zip file.
  5. There are now three options for how to download data:
    1. Download CSV of Chosen Columns - This will create a single CSV file that has one row for each observation and one column for each metadata field you have selected using "Choose Columns". No actual data will be downloaded, only a list of metadata.
    2. Download Zipped Data Archive - This will create a ZIP file that you can download separately. The ZIP file contains all of the data products for the observations you chose. It also includes a file containing product checksums, a manifest, and the same CSV file discussed above. Finally, it includes a new file, urls.txt, discussed below.
    3. Download Zipped URL Archive - This will create a ZIP file that is the same as the one above, but with no actual data products. It will only include the checksums, manifest, CSV, and URLs files.
The new urls.txt file solves the problem of downloading huge amounts of data when it is impractical to put all the data into a single ZIP file. urls.txt simply contains a list of URLs for all data products for all observations you selected, using the PDS Ring-Moon Systems Node ViewMaster site as the source for the data. You can easily use this file to automatically retrieve the actual data using the wget command as follows:

wget -i urls.txt

We have also made it easier to download ZIP archives for a single observation directly from the Details tab:

As always, you can continue to download individual data products from this tab as well.

We value your feedback, questions, comments, and suggestions. Please let us know what you think!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

OPUS Now Has Input Value Checking and Search String Hints

One of the most-requested improvements in OPUS is now available: Checking numerical inputs for validity.

As you type into any numerical field (including floating point, integer, date/time, and spacecraft clock count), the field border will change as you're typing. Green means the current value is valid as-is. Yellow means the current value is invalid. If you try to do a search with an invalid value, the erroneous search field will turn red and no search will be performed until you fix the input.

In addition, once you've entered a valid value, that value is normalized. For a floating point value, that means it is formatted using the proper number of digits to the right of the decimal point to indicate its precision. For a date/time value, that means converting it to the standard format YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS.sss.

As an added bonus, string input fields now have string hints. As you type, the database will be searched for appropriate matches and they will be presented to you in a drop-down box. If your search is reasonably constrained, these hints will only be those relevant to your current search. If your search has too many results, however, the hints will indicate all possible matches from the entire database. Up to 100 hints can be shown, and the hints intelligently obey the search type (contains, begins, ends, etc.). Simply click on a result if you wish to choose it for your search. This feature is particularly useful for fields such as Cassini Observation Name or Note that have a lot of free-form text.

As always, we look forward to hearing from our users. Please feel free to ask questions, make suggestions, or complain, as appropriate! We want everyone's experience using OPUS to be a great one.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Recent updates to OPUS (Instrument Names, Units, and Versions!)

  • Several fields (e.g. Spacecraft Clock Count, Filter) have similar names across instruments, making it difficult to tell which instrument or mission a particular search field or metadata column refers to. We now include the instrument or mission name in the search field title as well as in the metadata columns in the same way that we show the name of the body for surface geometry.

  • Many users have been requesting information on the measurement units supported by OPUS, and we are pleased to announce that these units are now shown. A future release will allow the user to select their own units.

  • The PDS archive supports multiple versions for data (like any good archive, nothing is ever thrown away). These versions are now visible in OPUS on the Details page. For now, when downloading a zip file for selected images, only the current version is returned. In a future release we will allow you to select which version you wish to download. 

  • Previously, Cassini ISS filter names lumped all polarizing filters of a particular type (e.g. IRP0, IRP90) into a single filter (IRPOL). We have now separated these out, making it easier to determine the polarization angle when looking at the metadata.
  • We now ignore spaces, commas, and underscores in numeric fields, allowing input such as "100,000" or "100_000" to indicate thousands.
  • Displayed numeric values (either the min/max hints on the search page or metadata values) are now rounded to an appropriate number of significant digits, with trailing zeros included to show the available precision.