CSCview, a Graphical User Interface to the Chandra Source Catalog

Van Stone, David

CSCview is a graphical user interface to the Chandra Source Catalog (CSC). The interface uses a Java applet which accesses the catalog in the Chandra Data Archive (CDA) servers through a middle-tier Java EE application server. The applet allows for a powerful and flexible web based interface using proven GUI design guidelines and taking advantage of the three-tier CDA architecture. A tabbed interface allows the user to navigate through the main features. The Catalog tab enables the user to select the live view or any released version of the CSC. In the Query tab, a standard query can be used or a custom query can be built from any of the ~900 source properties. The user can choose between a graphical query builder for ease of use or an ADQL editor for maximum flexibility. The cross-matching feature matches an imported list of sources with sources in the CSC. The Results tab displays the found sources and their properties. From here, the user can save the results, use the Source Preview for a quick view of source images, or choose data products for selected sources for retrieval. The Products tab shows the resulting list of data products which can be further selected from and downloaded as a single package.

CSCview can interoperate with other applications for further data searches, visualization and analysis by import and export of data in standard data formats and bidirectional SAMP messaging. User preferences at the application level allow for customization of various features and are persistent across sessions. A query can be saved and loaded across sessions or submitted at a command line interface. CSCview had its initial release in 2009 and is being updated to include new features and to accommodate evolving requirements. During the entire time it has been receiving positive user feedback.

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