Wednesday, 13 August 2014

New Image Viewer Now Live

I am excited to present the very latest version of our online FITS editing tools, now live on the site for you to use. While other sites either provide a static jpeg or (sometimes) give you a FITS file, which you need specialist software to open, we are unique in offering a simple-to-use interface for editing your data, right in your web browser. Our newest, third generation FITS viewer is going to push the boundaries of what you thought was possible in a web page, and the first stage of the release is now live.

This first release is a replacement for the flash FITS viewer that you have probably been using on the edit tab for some time. It has much the same level of capabilities as it's predecessor with just a few added features. But harnessing the latest technologies, it should run much quicker and much smoother, particularly on computers with good graphics cards. We hope it will also prove even simpler for beginners to use.

Beneath the simple exterior lies a highly sophisticated and flexible rendering engine more than a year in the making. A second editor that makes full use of this power, aimed at the more advanced user, will be next on our to-do list. Consider this first sneak peak the tip of the iceberg.

Because of the quite new web technology used in the new viewer, not all browsers will run it. If you're using a normal laptop or desktop computer, all browsers except Internet Explorer (Internet Explorer version 11 only) should work perfectly. If you're on a mobile device, your mileage may vary. Like with flash, Apple devices will never support it. Google is close to full integration in Android, so if you're on a new device with the latest Android version, it might well work. Feedback on what it works with would be really useful to us! If your device/browser can't run it, you'll just be sent to the flash version instead.

So go and check out the new FITS viewer, live now on the edit tab of all your images!

I would love to hear what you think about it. Please email me with any comments, bug reports or suggestions.