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I agree

IOTD and Top Picks Manifesto

whwang
16 Feb, 2018 01:29
Ouch…. I often have to down-size my images before I upload them.  Otherwise even my own browser cannot load those pages with my 100% resolution images.
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 01:34
hbastro
16 Feb, 2018 02:12
Lets not restrict the methods to those that favor one class of image  over another. Lets evaluate images on their merit. Down sampling is just as valid a noise reduction method as the use of professional data and the latest brilliant algorithm.
Andys_Astropix
16 Feb, 2018 08:23
So anyway, as one of the judges responsible for the stuffup with the same image appearing two days in a row I feel obligated to apologise on behalf of my colleagues.
Not sure how that happened after I selected the first day’s one, but I guess we’re only human.
On this topic, perhaps a panel chair would be a good addition to have a final look at selected IOTD’s prior to going to air?
Then duplicate images could be flagged & flawed images held until the author has a chance to review their image.
Interesting discussion, lots of passion here.
As to judges work being ineligible, it’s a shame in some ways as it precludes many good images being seen by the wider Astrobin community.
My recent Apod of the Ara SNR for example was seen by millions on the Apod website, but probably only a handful here. Shame as it’s the first ever published high res colour mosaic of that region, not saying it necessarily deserved IOTD, but you get what I mean smile
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 08:25
rob77
16 Feb, 2018 08:28
BTW, probably not your case (and I hope not mine as well, since I've been featured APOD more than 30 times), but APOD is not synonymous of good quality images.
Look at today one.

Cheers
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 08:38
RRBBarbosa
16 Feb, 2018 09:20
It is undoubtedly a very sensitive subject, as evidenced by more than 3,000 views and many divergent opinions. But it is going well, without great exaltations!

I would like to ask if it is possible to create a survey to better understand who is in favor of:
a) current Top Picks / IOTD system or
b) new Top Picks / IOTD system but with categories of images (back yard, remote, professional, others) as shown by KuriousGeorgehttps://www.astrobin.com/full/333444/0/?nc=picks

Just publish two images with like button, in fact one is already created and can be used. Then it would be useful to create an alert for all the users when entering the astrobin to inform that the voting is taking place. Something that can be implemented without wasting much time.

What do you think Salvatore ?
carastro
16 Feb, 2018 09:47
Is there going to be a a Poll Ruben or do we just post here?

Ruben Barbosa
Just publish two images with like button, in fact one is already created and can be used. Then it would be useful to create an alert for all the users when entering the astrobin to inform that the voting is taking place. Something that can be implemented without wasting much time.

Didn't quite understand that suggestion. 

By the way, in my original suggestion of having categories -  I listed a different one for every day of the week -  it was just an example to demonstrate the different types of images submitted.  On reflection I think it was a bit OTT (Over The Top) to have so many categories, I would just be happy to separate the images done entirely from start to finish (i.e. capturing own data and processed yourself) with those processed from downloaded sources, (i.e. did not capture the data) as I do not think both types of images should be compared.

Therefore I vote for option B and a rolling banner of Top picks as KuriousGeorgehttps://www.astrobin.com/full/333444/0/?nc=picks  I think is a great idea.

IMO any-one having a remote set up where they bought their own equipment and set it up themselves in a dark location and made it work -  but operate it remotely is Own Data because it wasn't captured by any-one else and hats off to them for their enterprise and skill.  

Carole
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 10:03
RRBBarbosa
16 Feb, 2018 10:16
Hi Carole,

My suggestion is:
a) Salvatore creates a poll (to decide if we keep the current system or create categories) and creates an alert for all the users when entering the astrobin to inform that the voting is taking place,
b) we participate by voting only.

If the option of the categories win, we can decide which categories and how many IOTD can be elected by day (in the case of the backyard photos it may be good to choose one by day, but for professional data/terrestrial objets maybe it should be one by week, I'm not sure about this because I do not know the amount of images that come in daily … for now it's just an idea).
carastro
16 Feb, 2018 10:23
Sorry, I see now it was a question for Salvatore.

I am thinking perhaps we should call this "own data" and "downloaded data" to save confusion and make the distinction clearer.

Carole
rob77
16 Feb, 2018 11:14
Carole Pope
IMO any-one having a remote set up where they bought their own equipment and set it up themselves in a dark location and made it work -  but operate it remotely is Own Data because it wasn't captured by any-one else and hats off to them for their enterprise and skill.

Many hosts (most of them) operate in a way that you just send your stuff over there and they take care about the maintainance. You just press the record button on your automation tool and download the frames.

Maybe I can hurt someone, but I don't see many differences between people that send their own equipment to a remote site from people that buy data.
I mean, just a question of money/equipment ownership.

Cheers
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 11:33
gnomus
16 Feb, 2018 12:10
It is a can of worms which very quickly becomes silly, in my view.

What if two people share a remote rig?  Can both partners claim 'own data' status?  What about 4 partners, or 12?

What if you have set up your remote rig, but then discover that a mount clutch knob has loosened, and you ask the operator of the remote facility to tighten it up for you (with a special spanner you have had to order from Teleskop Service)?  (This is  a real example, by the way  smile )  What if your Cloudwatcher rain sensor fails, and you need to replace the unit?  Do you need to travel out to Spain, NM, Chile to do these minor jobs for your data still to warrant 'own data' status?  At what point has the rig not been set up by you (or the partnership)?  If you have physically connected the bits of the rig together, are you then allowed to ask the operator to tweak: the dew heater controller setting; the balance; the polar alignment?  At what point has it become more his 'set up' than yours?

All remote data has to be 'downloaded' (… I think).  In fact, even my home data is 'downloaded'.  I upload my home observatory data to Google's 'Backup and Sync' so that it automatically downloads to my processing PC, and I don't need to faff about with USB sticks or portable hard drives.  (This is exactly the same system I use for the remote rig.)

And again, given the technology currently available (hardware and software), to what extent can we really claim that the data we collect and process from home is solely a result of our efforts, anyway?   Some folks eschew automatic focus - since focus is such a crucial part of the process, and achieving good focus manually is unquestionably a skill -  is it really OK to have a machine take care of that for you?   Are we permitted to use Actions, Processes or Scripts that have been written by other people?  I don't really know how Noel's 'Local Contrast Enhancement' works, but I use it frequently.  Is the final image I produce partly Noel's?

I suspect that people will have different opinons about all of the above.  So who gets to arbitrate?  And then, 'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'

Under the current system, judges can (and I am sure do) use their discretion to compare processed Hubble data with processed Backyard data.  Bad pictures are not being chosen for IOTD.  Furthermore, there seems to be a healthy spread of winners from the following categories: 'own'; 'downloaded'; 'backyard'; 'remote'; 'professional'; 'commercial'; 'high-end equipment'; 'budget equipment'; 'dark skies'; 'light-polluted skies'; 'lunar'; 'planetary'; 'satellites'; 'nightscapes'; 'aurora'; 'other earth-based astronomical phenomena'; ……. Apologies if I missed any out.

Given that, I don't really think the present system is broken.  So why try overhaul a system that is working?  Fine-tuning (as Ruben proposes) is another thing, of course.
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 12:11
patrickgilliland
16 Feb, 2018 12:44
Roberto Colombari
Carole Pope IMO any-one having a remote set up where they bought their own equipment and set it up themselves in a dark location and made it work -  but operate it remotely is Own Data because it wasn't captured by any-one else and hats off to them for their enterprise and skill.
Having a unique view on this topic through running a small data subscription business I think understanding the demographics of the people you are excluding/segregating is important.
100% of my clients - yes everyone, has their own set up at home, they are all competent imagers and are all capable of setting up a telescope.  They, as do I still sit out and obtain local data despite having out subscriptions or remote set-ups.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether they are capable of setting up a telescope.  Typically it is just that they do not have a regular supply of data through weather or lifestyle or they want data from equipment they cannot justify owning personally.
I have never achieved IOTD for sitting out in the cold to 3 a.m. and struggling with something that is not working - no-one ever will.  Thus, why is this element now being put forward as a criterion?
I agree that if you obtain a great image from a light polluted area on inferior equipment the judges should consider this but only if it is a good image.
The IOTD acknowledgement is one of a good image, not best efforts in trying to get an average one.
I would also stress these people who subscribe are doing so at expense/effort to themselves to better the quality of the images the can produce to share with us all.
Personally, I have my scopes that I set up in remote locations with far more complexity involved than many will ever encounter on their home setups.  So I have all the bases covered smile - Those who are subscribing are trying to improve their work, enjoy the hobby more and share better quality images for your enjoyment. They are trying to produce better work as they are passionate enough to invest more in their hobby.  No one is trying to cheat or shortcut anything, on the contrary, every customer  I have has walked the long path of doing it themselves and learnt that the aforementioned restrictions were holding them back.  They invest at that point into a resolution to improve and to share higher quality images for your enjoyment.

Astrobin is not - backyard only astronomers as far as I am aware.  If people are that passionate about it set up a website just for that criteria.
IMHO - Astrobin is a holistic repository for all types of astronomical images - pro, amateur, subscription, scientific or otherwise  - so long as it is clearly labelled then all is good.

Trying to redesign a site to fit your personal views is contrary to its objectives - you don't go to a sauna and complain it is too hot!
Why join a holistic site (astro - astronomy) (bin - repository) and then complain that it does not favour the backyard imager or whatever your preference is? - It's not what the site is about and it's not clear why people need to tailor it to fit their preferences?  It's all the same hobby and we should all be allowed to enjoy as we see fit surely?   With the greatest of respect to lunar, solar and planetary imagers, it's not my thing…..should I now say they should be sectioned off into there own little corner so they don't interfere with my enjoyment.  Of course not.  Too many ill-conceived ideas seem to be in play here.

Steve Milne
Given that, I don't really think the present system is broken
Agree, it will have a blip maybe now and then but it is a volunteer operated solution that is actually better than any other out there (that I am aware of).  It would be a sad day if insular views and minority personal tastes governed the way the site is operated an run.  I for one would have no interest in the site and would simply go elsewhere.

I would rather encourage every single person with an interest in the hobby and include them in the gang.  Rather than exclude any for the way they wish to enjoy the hobby.  Everyone is entitled to there views of course, I respect everyone, I wholeheartedly disagree when personal views are put forward as dictates that the rest of the community will be expected to adhere to and be judged on.

There are many views and tastes and putting it bluntly - that is just the way it is.  If you want categories, if this data is 'wrong' or that approach is the only right way then you will just end up with a segregated site with people rarely venturing outside their little domain.  I know this from my use of other sites where I only ever visit one forum because 'that's my place'.  I miss out on all the interaction with the wider community.  That is a flaw, not a better feature.  What next, a self-imposed class system, will I have to sit at the back of the lecture hall away from the 'real backyard imagers' in this class system?

There were some valid points in this thread but now I am actually disappointed with the direction, insular approach and people trying to force there tastes on all users of the site.

A final little thought - Staff.  If you have polarised views can you really serve the community you are representing?  It is very sad to see words like cheating etc being banded about.  So long as the data source is transparent how is it cheating?  Do we have a community that is so restrictive that unless people comply with your views on the hobby they become cheats?  I have processed data from the Liverpool Telescope - thus, I am a cheat despite being very clear that is where data came from.  Verging on the offensive, I was learning how to process using different dataset types to improve my skills, or so I thought, apparently I was cheating though; if only I knew!!!!
rob77
16 Feb, 2018 12:48
Paddy, you quoted me but it's not me that wrote it LoL
patrickgilliland
16 Feb, 2018 12:51
Roberto Colombari
Paddy, you quoted me but it's not me that wrote it LoL
Sorry - was just grabbing the text to get my rambling started .  No worries smile
jeffbax
16 Feb, 2018 13:09
Paddy Gilliland
? "speak badly of or tell lies about (someone) so as to damage their reputation." Not sure i understand?

Sorry Paddy, this is not at all what I wanted to say. I was sure that my exeptionnal skills in english would make me famous one day smilesmile

The right word is translates, or expresses. In french you say "traduire".

JF
carastro
16 Feb, 2018 13:39
Paddy Gilliland
Staff.  If you have polarised views can you really serve the community you are representing?

Probably not.  I am waiting to see the outcome of this debate and will decide then whether to resign as a submitter.

Carole
gnomus
16 Feb, 2018 13:45
Well put, Paddy.  I don’t understand why some folks feel that they can dictate to others how they should go about pursuing their hobby.

You are now one of many who have called out the use of the word ‘cheating’.  I find it interesting that this word has not been withdrawn, and no apology has been offered for its use.
patrickgilliland
16 Feb, 2018 15:02
jeffbax
Paddy Gilliland
? "speak badly of or tell lies about (someone) so as to damage their reputation." Not sure i understand?
Sorry Paddy, this is not at all what I wanted to say. I was sure that my exeptionnal skills in english would make me famous one day smilesmile The right word is translates, or expresses. In french you say "traduire". JF
No worries  smile.
Your English is far better than my google French!
BR
Paddy
KuriousGeorge
16 Feb, 2018 15:52
I don't believe "Remote" is an issue. Paying someone to setup, capture or process for you might be an issue for some people.

Having categories may help resolve that. Maybe call it "Hosted" rather than "Remote".

If someone helped you and you didn't pay them, I'd personally consider it yours. That person may raise their hand, but that's OK.

Categories are used in all sorts of contests to address the "issues" being discussed here. I personally see no negatives if you limit to the few I suggested.
Edited 16 Feb, 2018 16:02
sixburg
17 Feb, 2018 04:54
Hi all, Lloyd (DSW) here.  I read all the posts (nearly) word for work over the last hour or so.  I always say that I don't get into this conversation unless DSW is mentioned specifically.  I take that position because there are hot opinions about remote, professional, processing, capturing, suffering even…  It doesn't do us any good to antagonize the very community from whom we learn, work with and provide service to.  But, I have opinions too so here they are…

***In retrospect I've gone on far too long so I  hope you make it to the salient points***

In case you don't read it all my points are:
  1. First, I offer no recommendations for neither TP nor IOTD…I don't understand the problem
  2. My points of view are my own and tend toward philosophical rather than pointed arguments
  3. What needs to be fixed?
  4. Who is not having fun because of AB IOTD and why?
  5. I know there is no 100% fix…not in this life
  6. Be careful of segregation / classifications…it's not as simple as it seems
  7. Let's support Salvatore in making a good decision on a path forward

<<< A Good Place to Start or Stop >>>

A question that I think I missed in my hour long read from the top…What is broken with the current system–exactly in very clear language?  I agree that back to back IOTD on M95 shot at DSW has "bad optics" ;-)  Aside from this unfortunate circumstance what is the thing that's going wrong with Top Pick and IOTD?  It's been said if it ain't broke don't fix it, but it's been "fixed" at least annually and evidently has been judged to still be broken ergo the opening manifesto.

What's curious is this topic feels like it's about issues bigger than IOTD.  Wei-Hao said something very important about having fun.  That's critical.  But, evidently there is something about AB that is not fun for some.  Really?  How can that be?  Don't we love this?  What makes it fun for you and only you without harming anyone else?  I tend to focus on that.

Participation Trophies?–
It sounds like many are not satisfied with who gets IOTD (major leap of logic there).  It also appears that there are images competing with each other that are really in different classes due to capture conditions, equipment, and eventually processing skills (and I do believe there is at least the semblance of competition when something gets judged against something else whether it be another image or a standard).

It is once again the problem of identity within variety; without a solution to this disturbing problem there can be no classification–Separating those classes can be done equitably on some criteria, but not so much on others.  For example, captured yourself vs. using a service like ours is a pretty clear distinction.  Professional scopes and amateur scopes is a really tough line to draw.  Remote vs. non-remote is also somewhat ambiguous because of the way it gets discussed often mixes who does the capture with who owns the equipment with where it is and so on.  I capture from my mother's house sometimes.  She's in a dark site.  I don't want to live in her town at all.  Hers fits the remote / dark site / self-capture category perfectly ;-)

Some / All or All / Some, but Never All / All–
AB has been changed several times because it's difficult to please everyone…no, impossible.  We either live with this or opt out.  This will wage on.

Whatever Floats Your Boat–Don't Let IOTD Sink It
We all get enjoyment from this hobby in different ways.  For me it's about the challenge of processing which is on par with operating an observatory 2,000 miles away with people who depend on us.  The technological challenge is a thrill.  The customer service challenge is a thrill.  Pushing the state of the art even a little bit is a thrill.

Sleep, Eeyore Sleep–If That's Your Thing–
Image acquisition, on the other hand, for me, is a bore.  Many of us do our best to automate the process, no?  Focus programs, autoguiders, plate solvers, point models and modelers, PEC curves, executive programs that allow you to sleep through the whole darned thing.  Once mastered you really can sleep though it (or already do).  Let me be a bit provocative on this point: suppose you've automated your system with all the various programs.  You've fine-tuned it.  It works way more than it doesn't.  Does it really matter if you see it do it?  Does it really matter if it's in your backyard?  Does it really matter if you own it?  Yeah, that last one hits some sideways…I get that.

The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors–
I don't go in the woods to image (afraid of snakes), I'm uncomfortable in dark secluded places (easily spooked), I don't do well in the cold (a US southerner).  For me, these do not enhance the process at all.  Automate the heck out of it I say!  Be someplace you want to be without having to really be there in person.  Time-shift. Place-shift!  For others, it's kind of a profile in courage or a badge of honor.  I respect that.  I respect both ends of the spectrum.

Changes aren't Permanent, but Change Is–
Our hobby is changing as it always has and will.  Seems we would be excited and encouraged by this and embrace of every aspect and style of imaging.  Do we need to "put it / them in its / their place"?  Amateur-accessible space-based scopes are almost here.  Dark sites are disappearing.  More down to Earth are super-sensitive, low noise, somewhat affordable cameras requiring just a few seconds to capture what normally takes many minutes.  Think you still need that big mount with the pointing model, GPS and meteo updates for unguided imaging?  Not for long…

Two closing points:
We serve many "types" of imagers at DSW and each is an equal contributor to the hobby.  They defy categorization because they are diverse as are we all.  Some I would consider to be at a professional level of acquisition AND processing albeit on amateur equipment (there's that fine line again).  Some own zero equipment.  Some have virtually every desirable piece of hardware placed around the planet.  Some are beginners.  Some are scientists.  Some camp at the site.  Some can't take the cold.  Some can't lift a telescope.  All want to be in the hobby and be thought of in the same light as everyone else.  They are us.

As I said the last time this came up, I will trust Salvatore's judgement and trust that he'll consult a cross section of people and consider the opinions of many to make a decision on a path forward.

Good Luck and Clear Skies.

-Lloyd
Edited 17 Feb, 2018 14:44
KuriousGeorge
17 Feb, 2018 06:42
"A question that I think I missed in my hour long read from the top…What is broken with the current system–exactly in very clear language?"

A budding astronomer asks me, what's the fastest and easiest way to get IOTD? I tell he or she "buy 40 hours of dark sky data and pay an expert to process it for you".

OR… "Be the BEST with what you have. Show creativity and innovation - possibly a new technique. Write new software to guide on all the stars in the frame. Try a new filter that no one tried before…"
gnomus
17 Feb, 2018 06:54
KuriousGeorge
"A question that I think I missed in my hour long read from the top…What is broken with the current system–exactly in very clear language?"A budding astronomer asks me, what's the fastest and easiest way to get IOTD? I tell he or she "buy 40 hours of dark sky data and pay an expert to process it for you".

OR… "Be the BEST with what you have. Show creativity and innovation - possibly a new technique. Write new software to guide on all the stars in the frame. Try a new filter that no one tried before…"
In your last two posts you have mentioned the idea of paying someone to process data (and have associated this with set up and capture).  Are there people who are posting images here that they have paid someone else to process?  I'm still relatively new here, so am not aware of all that goes on.
KuriousGeorge
17 Feb, 2018 07:18
Steve Milne
In your last two posts you have mentioned the idea of paying someone to process data (and have associated this with set up and capture).  Are there people who are posting images here that they have paid someone else to process?  I'm still relatively new here, so am not aware of all that goes on.

We know people pay for data. I know some people also pay to process.

My point is IOTD encourages both. If you have little or no skills, you can "win".

Soon you'll be able to pay to press a button to get IOTD (i.e., high-quality automated capture and processing).
Edited 17 Feb, 2018 07:19
diegocolonnello
17 Feb, 2018 08:09
Somehow the post above makes me sad…
patrickgilliland
17 Feb, 2018 09:52
Diego Colonnello
Somehow the post above makes me sad
I have to agree with that - overcoming constraints such as location,  budgets or even (as per two of my clients) disability/health issues etc to access equipment/data is acceptable in my opinion.   Paying someone to process for you is another altogether!  Sad does sum it up perfectly - if you're not creating the image what enjoyment and for that matter achievement is there in the process?  If people post 'pre-processed' data so be it, but in that scenario, I trust the wider AB community, they will not like/follow etc .  Certainly should not qualify for any sort of acknowledgement, there is nothing to acknowledge after all!
Carole Pope
and will decide then whether to resign as a submitter
Appreciate the candour of the reply  - earlier you said (I think) while you have a preference for backyard images you do select others.  My points are not meant to single anyone out but rather, 1. The purpose of having multiple staff is to ensure a wide range of tastes is accounted for (theoretically normalising personal preferences) 2. To remind folk that this is a far more holistic site than just backyard imagers.  If there is something you do not like, have a taste for etc I see no issue with that.  When views are so polarised an individual views other work as 'lesser' or even start to publically label with derogatory terms, for me, this is an issue.

We are all here just to have fun and enjoy.  Segregating people in their own little pots while I understand the request is a recipe for disaster.  I have left other sites which are already segregated in many of the proposed 'categories' and they do not work in my opinion.  If we take the views expressed (in a light-hearted way smile )it will demonstrate the issues - at various points we have had no pro-data, no remote data, no pro-gear (is a £40k scope pro or not), no satellites/man-made objects no ITOD, No TP etc - If everyone's taste is accounted for you end up with very little.  In fact, it would equate to little more than an FB group for backyard amateur images.  It is actually the complete opposite of what Astrobin actually is and why I enjoy the site!

And finally, there are a few (of the 1000's of members) people here discussing the topic.  As far as I am aware none have us have been voted into power to represent anyone.  We have no decree, this is not a self-appointed parliament smile .  Expressing ideas is a great thing.  Any assumption this thread might even come close to the views of the wider user base is likely misguided.  The thread started with one person and some ideas, never a bad thing.  However, even among just those who have involved themselves; no consensus can be reached.  With no consensus and no remit to discuss/represent  in the first instance, while all very interesting it, the discussion may now have run its course?
Die_Launische_Diva
17 Feb, 2018 10:07
KuriousGeorge
We know people pay for data. I know some people also pay to process.

Yes but this is a matter of vanity of these specific individuals and not a problem of AstroBin or how IOTD works. In this hobby are also people who freely share their data and knowledge. Some share data acquired from pristine skies and with exotic equipment.

If these individuals exist, someday they will have to prove themselves in front of a live audience, and then their nakedness will reveal. It is just a waste of time and resources to try to set up here the "perfect" voting/judging system to stop such individuals.
Edited 17 Feb, 2018 10:11
 
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