Scientific Visualization and Computer Graphics

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Visualization of multiparameter high-dimensional astronomical data

Project goal

Astronomical data sets are growing to enormous sizes. Modern surveys provide not only image data but also catalogues of millions of objects, each object with hundreds of associated parameters. To explore these data sets effectively, new and scalable tools must be developed that can cope with the sheer data volume which has entered the tens of terabytes regime. In this project the focus is on feature extraction and interactive visualization techniques for high-dimensional data.

As a first step, we will explore standard information visualization tools for multidimensional data sets like scatter plot matrices, parallel coordinates or tours, and apply these techniques to several data collections, such as the SDSS data catalogue for finding correlations between parameters and the local environment of stars and galaxies. Scalibilty of tools is expected to be a major bottleneck, requiring the development of new approches.



Kapteyn Astronomical Institute (in collaboration with the OmegaCEN group, ASTRON and LOFAR).


  • B.J. Ferdosi, H. Buddelmeijer, J.M. van der Hulst, E.A. Valentijn and J.B.T.M. Roerdink, Visualization of Very Large High-Dimensional Astronomical Data Sets, SIREN: Scientific ICT Research Event Netherlands, 30 October 2007, TU Delft (poster).
  • H. Buddelmeijer, B.J. Ferdosi, A. Helmi, S.C. Trager, E.A. Valentijn, M.H.F. Wilkinson, J.B.T.M. Roerdink, J.M. van der Hulst, Visualizing Astronomical Data, SIREN: Scientific ICT Research Event Netherlands, September 29, 2008, VU University Amsterdam.