Building a smart portal for astronomy

Derriere, Sebastien

The development of a portal for accessing astronomical resources is not an easy task. The ever-increasing complexity of the data products can result in very complex user interfaces, requiring a lot of efforts and learning from the user in order to perform searches. This is often a design choice, where the user must explicitly set many constraints, while the portal search logics remains simple.

We investigated a different approach, where the query interface is kept as simple as possible (ideally, a simple text field, like for Google search), and the search logics is made much more complex to interpret the query in a relevant manner.

We will present the implications of this approach in terms of interpretation and categorization of the query parameters (related to astronomical vocabularies), translation (mapping) of these concepts into the portal components metadata, identification of query schemes and use cases matching the input parameters, and delivery of query results to the user.

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