SlicerAstro: A 3-D interactive visual analytics tool for HI data

Punzo, D., van der Hulst, J. M., Roerdink, J. B. T. M., Fillion-Robin, J. C. & Yu, L. Apr-2017 In : Astronomy and Computing. 19, p. 45-59 15 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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  • SlicerAstro:A3-Dinteractivevisualanalyticstoolfor HI data

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SKA precursors are capable of detecting hundreds of galaxies in HI in a single 12 h pointing. In deeper surveys one will probe more easily faint HI structures, typically located in the vicinity of galaxies, such as tails, filaments, and extraplanar gas. The importance of interactive visualization in data exploration has been demonstrated by the wide use of tools (e.g. Karma, Casaviewer, VISIONS) that help users to receive immediate feedback when manipulating the data. We have developed SlicerAstro, a 3-D interactive viewer with new analysis capabilities, based on traditional 2-D input/output hardware. These capabilities enhance the data inspection, allowing faster analysis of complex sources than with traditional tools. SlicerAstro is an open-source extension of 3DSlicer, a multi-platform open source software package for visualization and medical image processing.

We demonstrate the capabilities of the current stable binary release of SlicerAstro, which offers the following features: (i) handling of FITS files and astronomical coordinate systems; (ii) coupled 2-D/3-D visualization; (iii) interactive filtering; (iv) interactive 3-D masking; (v) and interactive 3-D modeling. In addition, SlicerAstro has been designed with a strong, stable and modular C++ core, and its classes are also accessible via Python scripting, allowing great flexibility for user-customized visualization and analysis tasks. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalAstronomy and Computing
StatePublished - Apr-2017


  • Radio lines: galaxies, Scientific visualization, Visual analytics, Agile software development, Object oriented development, Empirical software validation, ASTRONOMICAL DATA FORMATS, SPECTRAL-LINE DATA, DATA VISUALIZATION, SOURCE FINDER, GALAXIES, ASKAP, CUBES, FITS

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