IOTD and Top Picks Manifesto

RRBBarbosa
13 Feb, 2018 14:39
The idea of opening this discussion was to improve the process of electing IOTD and Top Picks. This improvement can be done with new ideas like some I have already seen written here. And that yes, it is useful, unlike qualifications that do not seem to me relevant. However, if someone felt offended, I pointed out that this was not my intention.

As I was saying, I've read here two good ideas, from Carole Pope and Sara Wager. And there will be more surely.

So I suggested that the discussion be centered on this point, to improve Astrobin which is a place we all like.
morefield
13 Feb, 2018 15:04
A few points on categories:

1) Separating backyard and remote locations doesn’t make sense to me. What I do at my remote site and my backyard are exaclty the same process, I simply have better seeing and darker skies at the remote site.  And many imagers have great seeing and darkness in their backyard.

2) Splitting groups by processing only and capture+processing could make sense.  The achievement of choosing, setting up, calibrating, and operating the equipment is at least half of the battle.  Shared data and public data processing is a different category.

3) Recognizing different classes of equipment could make sense.   I believe the judges already do expect more from a $50,000 rig than from a $5000 rig.  But it could make sense to have categories.  How many and where to draw the line are a good question.   Cost would be the best theoretically but impossible to manage I think.   That probably leaves aperture.   I would think <= 10 inches and >10 inches would work.  Alternating days could work.

***All of that said, this is a subjective process and I think it works well now.  Maybe it would be best to ask the judges to subjectively consider the handicaps and advantages involved in making their decisions and leave it at that.

Suggested subjective handicapping:

1) Did the imager capture the data themselves or are they just processing?
2) What level of equipment was used?
3) How ideal was the location?

And aside from handicapping, the judges should consider these:

1) Is the pretty picture pretty?
2) Does it display some object, feature, or method previously not seen?
3) Is the picture true to the object?
4) Will it make the most people smile when they look at it?

Thank you Salvatore and everyone who gives their time to this process!
KuriousGeorge
13 Feb, 2018 15:17
Carole Pope
Have different categories.For example:

Sundays:  Solar system images including  things like aurora, landscapes and satellites (I put these together as probably will not be too many of each)

Mondays:  Images processed using data from professional telescopes.

Tuesdays:  Images processed using data from remote locations.

Wednesdays:  Images done by Backyard imagers (i.e,. those who set up the equipment, captured it themselves and processed it)

Thursdays:  Images processed  using data from remote locations (2 days on this as there are lots of you)

Fridays: Images from Backyard imagers taken from a Light polluted location Bortle 8 & 9 for example.

Saturdays:  Image of the week - the best image of the week covering all cetegories.

This will make it a fair playing field for every-one, allowing those at a disadvantage (poor skies etc etc) to have a fair crack of the whip.

Carole
This sounds like a great idea Carole. Nearly every contest I've entered (e.g., cars, photos, art, etc) have categories. Changing IOTD into "Top Picks" in each category would be great (it would not need to be done daily). You might scroll from newest to oldest top picks, and top picks over a certain age (e.g., 6 months) might drop off. Top picks would be selected based on the availability of the judges. It would not need to be done daily.

BTW, although I don't process data from professional sources, I do agree with Roberto that much of this data is never seen until it appears here. Having the Categories would address this and may even encourage some really sharp folks to try something different, possibly resulting in new discoveries.
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 15:19
carastro
13 Feb, 2018 16:11
Kevin Morefield
What I do at my remote site and my backyard are exaclty the same process, I simply have better seeing and darker skies at the remote site.

An "aside" from the thread.  I am curious at this statement.  When you say a remote site, do you mean it's a site away from your home that you set up the equipment but access remotely?  Or do you mean it is a site away from home that you visit from time to time but still set up the kit and image at that place?

Carole
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 16:14
morefield
13 Feb, 2018 16:26
Carole Pope
Kevin Morefield
What I do at my remote site and my backyard are exaclty the same process, I simply have better seeing and darker skies at the remote site.

An "aside" from the thread.  I am curious at this statement.  When you say a remote site, do you mean it's a site away from your home that you set up the equipment but access remotely?  Or do you mean it is a site away from home that you visit from time to time but still set up the kit and image at that place?

Carole
Carole,

In my case the remote site is a permanent installation where I install and maintain the equipment, making frequent visits for upgrades and maintenance.  When I use/used my backyard I kept the equipment setup and undercover full time.  I used the same automation software (CCDAP) to run the sessions, the only difference being that I didn't need to use GoToMyPC since the PC was outside.

Kevin
rob77
13 Feb, 2018 16:29
Girls/Guys,
is it really crucial for you the fact that an image has been produced remotely with a set-up placed at a maximum distance of 15 meters from home or 2000km away?
If an astroimager has done 500km for finding a good sky or just downloaded the data from DSW?

As far as I know, astrobin is not rewarding with any money the IOTD winners so why don't we stop pushing the competition at this kind of level, maybe starting saying "today I've been featured IOTD on astrobin" instead of "today I won the IOTD astrobin prize", which are 2 totally different concepts ?

Personally, I'd cancel IOTD leaving just the Top Picks. But if you want to leave the daily IOTD up, I'd create categories as someone else suggested before.
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 16:30
KuriousGeorge
13 Feb, 2018 16:31
Just an idea to replace IOTD. Categories are used in many contests (e.g., cars, photo, art). Update as judges are available (daily not needed). You can scroll to prior picks.

https://www.astrobin.com/full/333444/0/?nc=picks
carastro
13 Feb, 2018 16:47
Roberto Colombari
Girls/Guys,is it really crucial for you the fact that an image has been produced remotely with a set-up placed at a maximum distance of 15 meters from home or 2000km away?
If an astroimager has done 500km for finding a good sky or just downloaded the data from DSW?
Absolutely crucial.  There is a world of difference to an image captured with all the work having been done by your own fair hand, than one where you sat indoors in the warm and downloaded data NOT captured by you.

If Kevin has a remote set up that he erected and maintains personally it is entirely different to downloading data from DSW etc.
 I was trying to clarify what he meant as remote.

Carole
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 16:53
Frank_
13 Feb, 2018 17:01
I'm in favor of abolishing the picture of the day. Then this eternal, but above all disturbing discussion will finally end. Ultimately, the images of the day are always just an expression of human taste. Many of the most recently shown pictures don't meet my taste at all and I ask myself what really was the reason for the jury to show these pictures?There will never be the perfect choice, as you can see on other websites, so don't do it. Best regards Frank
rob77
13 Feb, 2018 17:06
Carole Pope
Absolutely crucial.  There is a world of difference to an image captured with all the work having been done by your own fair hand, than one where you sat indoors in the warm and downloaded data NOT captured by you.If Kevin has a remote set up that he erected and maintains personally it is entirely different to downloading data from DSW etc.
 I was trying to clarify what he meant as remote.

Carole
In this direction, it isn't fair as well putting in the same cauldron people owning 1kEUR equipment  with guys with 100kEUR set ups and so on.
My humble suggestion is to really take it much more easier, simply enjoying the hobby. At the end of the story, if you drive 500km and stay awake the entire weekend for an on-site session is because you like it.
Or you do it to catch an IOTD on astrobin?

Frank Iwaszkiewicz
I'm in favor of abolishing the picture of the day. Then this eternal, but above all disturbing discussion will finally end. Ultimately, the images of the day are always just an expression of human taste. Many of the most recently shown pictures don't meet my taste at all and I ask myself what really was the reason for the jury to show these pictures?There will never be the perfect choice, as you can see on other websites, so don't do it. Best regards Frank
Exactly
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 17:07
RRBBarbosa
13 Feb, 2018 17:14
Frank Iwaszkiewicz
I'm in favor of abolishing the picture of the day. Then this eternal, but above all disturbing discussion will finally end. Ultimately, the images of the day are always just an expression of human taste. Many of the most recently shown pictures don't meet my taste at all and I ask myself what really was the reason for the jury to show these pictures?There will never be the perfect choice, as you can see on other websites, so don't do it. Best regards Frank

I completely agree.

KuriousGeorge
Just an idea to replace IOTD. Categories are used in many contests (e.g., cars, photo, art). Update as judges are available (daily not needed). You can scroll to prior picks.

https://www.astrobin.com/full/333444/0/?nc=picks
Excelent.
rob77
13 Feb, 2018 17:27
Andy
5) Images from professional orbiting or ground based obs telescopes are in my opinion cheating & denigrating the hard work of the amateur backyard astronomer ant therefore ineligible for IOTD , unless you create a seperate category for images processed by individuals processed from Hubble, DSW etc.

Leaving from one side Hubble and DSS (and few other pro surveys that I forgot right now) for which, I agree with you, the processing is absolutely straightforward. You can produce a stunning image in few clicks.
Now, are you sure that spending months behind the creation of mosaics with ESO or NAOJ data is cheating the astrophotography community as far as the data sources are cleary stated in the image description?
Cheating would be if they were submitted on astrobin with misleading descriptions, not giving to the audience the possibility of understanding how they have been produced.
Cheating would be if they were submitted on astrobin, once the site  policy had been changed, stating that pro data wouldn't have been allowed anymore.
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 19:35
carastro
13 Feb, 2018 17:33
Roberto Colombari
In this direction, it isn't fair as well putting in the same cauldron people owning 1kEUR equipment  with guys with 100kEUR set ups and so on.

True, we can never get it completely fair.   Something needs to change though as there is obviously a lot of discontent as you can see from this thread.

Carole
keithlt
13 Feb, 2018 17:41
I do hope that images are being looked at in full resolution before being sent up to the next level.
carastro
13 Feb, 2018 17:41
keithlt
I do hope that images are being looked at in full resolution before being sent up to the next level.
I do.
jeffbax
13 Feb, 2018 19:12
My 2 cents : I feel happy with how it works. Every system has advantages and drawbacks and I would personnaly like some few ajustements like for updated images, but not everyone would agree.So keep it simple. I actually don't understand why we would need such changes.. Sorry.

SOrry for the french accent smile
JF
swag72
13 Feb, 2018 19:56
Sounds like there's quite some support for abolishing IOTD altogether……. It seems to me that it is THE most derisive thing that is running on AB….. Lets just see a random selection of top picks (Or even uploading pics) scrolling through the day. Take away IOTD and you have instantly got rid of any of the animosity that exists today…..  smile

Let's all just enjoy every single image that is uploaded and celebrate that someone has the skills and desire to do this fantastic hobby. Let's stop causing bad feeling and threads such as this (showing obvious discontent) and appreciate each other for the images we produce without anyone feeling that they are placed on a leader board or measured against anyone else.
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 20:01
Andys_Astropix
13 Feb, 2018 20:35
Folks, remember the old saying?
If it ain’t broke, don’t try & fix it!
Have a nice day all…  smile
gnomus
13 Feb, 2018 21:43
I thought Ruben’s suggestions were sensible enough, but I don’t have strong feelings about how IOTD is run.

I am confused as to what is meant when people complain about folks using ‘professional telescopes’.  Hubble and DSW are not comparable (with the greatest of respect to Lloyd smile - but he should certainly use the quote in his marketing material !!}.  But let us consider the DSW situation - is DSW using ‘professional telescopes’?  I was a member of the DSW Tak FSQ 106 team for a while.  Is a Tak 106 a professional telescope?  I suspect that many people are using them (or even higher quality gear) in their backyard.  Furthermore, I believe that the DSW ‘hangar’ is not used exclusively by DSW ‘house’ teams.  Is someone privately running a Tak 106 (or better) in the DSW observatory using a ‘professional’ telescope?

I know that some people feel that imaging from your own back garden is the one ‘true’ way.  Those people are, of course, perfectly entitled to their opinion.  What I am less comfortable with is their apparent readiness to use pejorative language against those who do not share that opinion.  How about some tolerance and brotherly love - can’t we just agree to disagree?
rob77
13 Feb, 2018 21:53
Steve, if you haven't run at least 350km and spent 8 hours looking at your CCD collecting photons you are not entitled to have your image(s) as IOTD
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 21:53
gnomus
13 Feb, 2018 21:57
I have to admit Roberto that I am old school.  I personally think that we should all go back to manual guiding.
rob77
13 Feb, 2018 21:58
And writing our own software  smile
gnomus
13 Feb, 2018 22:17
Software!??!!!  You disappoint me Roberto.  I calculate each of the pixel values myself … using an abacus.
carastro
13 Feb, 2018 22:40
Steve Milne
I am confused as to what is meant when people complain about folks using ‘professional telescopes’.  Hubble and DSW are not comparable (with the greatest of respect to Lloyd - but he should certainly use the quote in his marketing material !!}.  But let us consider the DSW situation - is DSW using ‘professional telescopes’?
I would have classified things like Hubble Telescope and data from Professional Observatories as Professional telescopes.  I would not class DSW as a professional telescope, but it's still remote data as opposed to data you have collected yourself.

Lots of dummies being thrown out of the pram which shows just what a contentious issue this is.

Some of us are strongly in favour of trying to make the system fairer, while those of you who favour the current system (which obviously works for you) don't want to change it.  Ruben did ask for ideas for improvement, though I am wondering if he's regretted asking that question.

As stated earlier, IMO there should either be IOTD categories -  one for those who do the whole capture and processing themselves - another for those who use already captured data, or failing that, as Sara suggests, get rid of IOTD all together and just have a selection of Top Picks and save all the arguments.

There seem to be a fair number in agreement with these suggestions.

Carole
Edited 13 Feb, 2018 22:49
gnomus
13 Feb, 2018 23:09
Hi Carole

You say that I am in favour of the current system because it ‘obviously’ suits my purposes.  I am neither for nor against the current system.  I am not sure how you know what ‘my purposes’ are - I don’t think I know myself.  I have not been awarded an IOTD since the new system was introduced, so I cannot see how you can argue that I am ‘benefitting’ from the system, as it stands.  Furthermore, my first post in this thread began with me being broadly in favour of Ruben’s proposals for change.  If asked to choose, I would probably vote for abolition.  So on all counts, I think you are being a little unfair.

I know that you have strong views about what is and is not ‘legitimate’ (for want of a better word).  I don’t share your opinion.  Am I entitled to have a different opinion?  ‘Cheating’ is a strong word, and in my view your use of it is unjustified.
 
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