Poster Presentation Astronomical Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting including HWWS 2013

Do tiled display walls improve feature recognition in large astronomical images? (#247)

Bernard Meade 1 2 , Christopher Fluke 1
  1. Center for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Vic, Australia
  2. The University of Melbourne, Vic, Australia

A Tiled Display Wall (or TDW) combines many smaller resolution monitors into a single high resolution display.  The first large-scale TDW in Australia, the OptIPortal, was launched at The University Of Melbourne in 2008.  Astronomy, being such a highly visual science, was thought to be a very suitable candidate for this 98-megapixel display, along with supporting other research activities working with very large images.  However, early attempts to engage researchers across all disciplines were largely unsuccessful, due to expensive hardware, unstable software, and complex data preparation processes.  Over the last few years, these issues have been addressed and slowly but surely, more research institutions are installing and actually using TDWs.   Astronomers, however, are still slow to adopt this technology, preferring to continue with desktop or projected displays.  One way of empirically comparing the suitability of displays is through a feature search, where participants are asked to identify specific features of interests within complex images. In this presentation, I will compare results of feature searches within ultra-high resolution astronomical images on three display environments: a typical desktop display, a large format projector display and a Tiled Display Wall.  These results will help determine whether ultra-high resolution displays can indeed improve the scientific returns when examining ultra-high resolution astronomical images.