Informal Astro Talk
The Helioviewer Project: enabling solar image data visualization for everyone
The Solar Dynamics Observatory provides over a terabyte of solar image data every day. In addition, the Sun and inner heliosphere are observed by many other instruments, providing many different types of data. Since visualization of the data is often the first step in understanding the physical processes of the Sun, browsing tools must keep pace with the volume of the data and users' needs. The Helioviewer Project is a solution to the visualization challenges presented by the volume and variety of solar data. The aim of the Helioviewer Project is to design systems and services which give users everywhere the capability to explore the Sun and inner heliosphere and to give transparent access to the underlying data. In this talk I will describe how the volume and variety of solar data shaped the technical choices that enable the Helioviewer Project. I will also describe how new image datasets, such as those that will be available from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter can be made available through the Helioviewer Project. Finally, I will discuss extensions to the project that will make it easier for users everywhere to explore the volume and variety of solar data. The main clients of the Helioviewer Project are available at helioviewer.org and jhelioviewer.org.