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I agree

IOTD and Top Picks Manifesto

siovene
19 Feb, 2018 14:38
Hi Ruben,
I think we will just go in circle. I have taken notes of all the ideas and I can think about it. I will think about asking in a survey which idea the community prefers, among those that I think are valuable.

I have not yet decided if I want to split the IOTD into categories. I lean towards leaving IOTD as is but making some improvements to the process to avoid occasional mistakes, and instead making the TP more important and splitting them into categories.
KuriousGeorge
19 Feb, 2018 15:38
Looks like all my poll suggestions and refinements were lost. Here's a quick reproduction for a 3-question poll to help plan for future direction…

1. Which of the following do you MOST agree with?

a. IOTD is OK as is. I realize the judges are volunteers and have other jobs and families. As a result, an occasional "questionable" image is expected.
b. I'd like to see the IOTD judging improved to help minimize "questionable" images.
c. I'd like to see IOTD with multiple categories (e.g., INDIVIDUAL, GROUP/HOSTED, PROFESSIONAL). AstroBin will define the final categories.
d. I don't like IOTD. Please remove it.

2. If we decide to use categories, please select one of more of the categories below that you MOST agree with…

a. INDIVIDUAL. You personally did the setup, capture and processing. You personally worked out everything needed to produce the images including but not limited to setting up the equipment, polar alignment, flex, focus, collimation, camera cooling, guiding, dew, dust, dirt, vibration, stray light, fog, clouds, wind, bugs, animals, darks, bias, flats, etc. No other individual helped you. If you are physically disabled and personally directed another individual to help perform some tasks to help overcome your disability, you are an INDIVIDUAL. If you personally operate a Remote site with no individual helping you, you are an INDIVIDUAL.

b. GROUP/HOSTED. You delegated one or more setup, capture or processing tasks to another individual. Some examples are (1) paying someone to set up the equipment and capture for you (2) processing data acquired from another INDIVIDUAL, (3) working with one or more INDIVIDUALS to capture and/or process the data.

c. PROFESSIONAL. You personally processed data generated from equipment that is not normally available to the amateur (e.g., space-based telescopes or professional observatories). Some INDIVIDUALS with very high-end equipment may be asked to categorize their work here.

d. TERRESTRIAL.  Same as INDIVIDUAL, but with images related to the Earth or people (e.g., landscape, satellites, aurora).

3. Knowing the darkness of an INDIVIDUAL or GROUP/HOSTED sky is…

a. Very important to me.
b. Interesting, but not a showstopper.
c. Not important at all to me.
JanD
19 Feb, 2018 16:24
Hi,

Frank Iwaszkiewicz
Ultimately, the images of the day are always just an expression of human taste.

I am a volunteer reviewer since a few weeks and I do enjoy this a lot.

I do not follow a check list while sending a picture one level higher. The picture has to touch me somehow. This can be through a plethora of reasons: Something rare, something beautiful, someone who spent a ton of work,  a interesting story behind the acquisition of the picture and a lot of times somehow just my gut decides. There are as many arbitrary reasons why I do not vote for a picture. I do not judge how other reviewers do this and frankly I do not care. If this is the wrong way to do it, I am happy to give up my spot as reviewer.

Best regards from Lausanne,
Jan

PS: Another good reason to not choose a picture is when it is already chosen by another reviewer.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 17:14
cosmophoton
19 Feb, 2018 16:57
Thanks for the comprehensive post, George!

KuriousGeorge
If you personally operate a Remote site with no individual helping you, you are an INDIVIDUAL.

I have a question that maybe could interest others too. I own a small observatory 100 miles from home, inside a farm, and I'm in the process of automatizing it. I intend to operate it remotely, and travelling maybe once a month to make maintenance (and doing some old style tripod-mount astrophotography too, if possible!). A friend (the farm owner) who lives there should help me occasionally in an emergency (malfunctions, power outages, tempests, wasps, etc.), but not during a normal astrophotography session. I pay him a small monthly fee to cover internet and energy costs. In this case, should I be included in the GROUP/HOSTED or INDIVIDUAL category?   Thanks!
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 17:04
carastro
19 Feb, 2018 17:22
Luiz Duczmal
I have a question that maybe could interest others too. I own a small observatory 100 miles from home, inside a farm, and I'm in the process of automatizing it. I intend to operate it remotely, and travelling maybe once a month to make maintenance (and doing some old style tripod-mount astrophotography too, if possible!). A friend (the farm owner) who lives there should help me occasionally in an emergency (malfunctions, power outages, tempests, wasps, etc.), but not during a normal astrophotography session. I pay him a small monthly fee to cover internet and energy costs. In this case, should I be included in the GROUP/HOSTED or INDIVIDUAL category?   Thanks!

In my opinion an INDIVIDUAL, the farmer is only helping with emergency stuff he is not helping to create the images.  I think the word "remote" was probably the wrong description for what it was intended.

I think it's all academic now though as Salvatore seems more inclined to keep IOTD as it is but change TP, see his post at 13.38.  Since he owns the site and changes will mean a lot of work for him, I think he will probably have the final word.

Carole
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 17:24
ImNewHere
19 Feb, 2018 17:36
Pretty sure I'll never end up with an IOTD, TP, APOD, etc. but some of these pics do inspire me to try for those targets, if i can get them from my front yard or the neighboring state park. I have no idea how they get picked, but they do seem way better than what I have gotten, possibly better than what I can even get with the equipment I have and the processing skill I have. I think it is cool that there is transparency in how it is done and that it seems like changes are being made to spread the love.
patrickgilliland
19 Feb, 2018 17:43
As it was all lost I think a set of criteria is the way forward for what IOTD is. "A guide"
It's all very well considering a bunch of options for categories etc but until the criteria are known categorising is difficult.
Before you split up into all the various options I would suggest Salva (he can reach out to the people he trusts to assist, run a chat thread poll, whatever it takes) prepares a list of what IOTD should be and if required what it should not be. .
This can then be used to deduce the validity of any categories, their weightings and their significance.
It also helps all the judges, allows those with less experience to potentially judge and provides an actual metric to review against (currently there is none).
I called it a guide specifically, it should not be a rule book or set of dictates - peoples taste and preferences should be allowed to shine through and provide the diversity the system affords.
It will also help people understand what is 'ideally' expected of them and guide them, not dictate to them. It will clearly show all the images that are permitted, potentially when etc.  There tastes will still influence their decision but within a reasonable spectrum of variations.

The issue lies with IoTD, Tp's, what images, where from etc,  Define that well to start then the subsequent design will support it.  Build without known scope and it may creep all over the place and end up ambiguous and as contentious as it is now.
KuriousGeorge
19 Feb, 2018 18:31
Luiz Duczmal
I have a question that maybe could interest others too. I own a small observatory 100 miles from home, inside a farm, and I'm in the process of automatizing it. I intend to operate it remotely, and travelling maybe once a month to make maintenance (and doing some old style tripod-mount astrophotography too, if possible!). A friend (the farm owner) who lives there should help me occasionally in an emergency (malfunctions, power outages, tempests, wasps, etc.), but not during a normal astrophotography session. I pay him a small monthly fee to cover internet and energy costs. In this case, should I be included in the GROUP/HOSTED or INDIVIDUAL category?   Thanks!

Thanks Luiz for the question. I was waiting for this one! I agree with Carol. You're still an INDIVIDUAL if someone helps your with routine maintenance, free or paid. If you're also doing something that needs a second hand, I see that as INDIVIDUAL too. For example, I sometimes ask my wife to turn some knobs while I tweak polar alignment. I suspect some people might challenge this, and we can tweak the rules to accommodate.
KuriousGeorge
19 Feb, 2018 18:41
Carole Pope
I think it's all academic now though as Salvatore seems more inclined to keep IOTD as it is but change TP, see his post at 13.38.  Since he owns the site and changes will mean a lot of work for him, I think he will probably have the final word.
I'm hoping Salvatore tries my poll suggestion and publishes the results. No problem if he decides to do nothing.

Personally, I think the categories I proposed would encourage creativity and  innovation, would be easier to judge, and would bring some really good people back. Implementation should be pretty straight-forward. You select your category from a dropdown and complete the required fields. If you don't, plenty of people still see your image but you can't get IOTD or Top Pick. Personally, I see lots of pros and few cons.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 18:42
cosmophoton
19 Feb, 2018 18:49
Thanks George and Carole for your answers!

KuriousGeorge
Personally, I think the categories I proposed would encourage creativity and  innovation, would be easier to judge, and would bring some really good people back.
I hope too!

Cheers
patrickgilliland
19 Feb, 2018 18:53
KuriousGeorge
pros and few cons
Personally I feel categorising devalues the final IOTD, TP's by category I would have no issue with.  But I am not that fussed so long as best images still come to the fore.

On pro's and con's - my previous post laid out the requirement to define IOTD guide - if you have categories then each will need definition.  I can see a new thread in the future called  'this image won this category but should have been in that', or 'imager said sky was x but was y' and so on.  It does risk creating more contentious topics if not addressed properly.  It also puts a lot of onus on the judges to attempt to validate any additional criteria.

Start by defining the guide criteria - this will show where things can be grouped, if agreed in the end these groups define categories.  Step 1 before step 2  smile  - It could end up being a mass of localised issues rather than the one some people currently have.

If it reflects the communities wishes then change will come but currently, we are just a few discussing and even a poll will have limited uptake.  Change will do two things 1. Please some people and attract new users 2. Upset some users and drive users away.  Really important 1 > 2 a for Salva i suspect.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 18:55
KuriousGeorge
19 Feb, 2018 19:05
Paddy Gilliland
I can see a new thread in the future called  'this image won this category but should have been in that', or 'imager said sky was x but was y' and so on.  It does risk creating more contentious topics if not addressed properly.

Agreed we may see some of this at the beginning. But I think we can get my proposed categories to have very little overlap.

I predict GROUP/HOSTED people may argue that they are INDIVIDUALS and vice versa. But I think we can sort that out pretty quickly like we did above.

Sky x vs sky y will likely be the bigger issue if we require SQM/Bortle. That may be optional in the beginning and possibly required later. The poll may show how important that is to people. It will likely not form a new category, but rather be a guideline for the judges.
gnomus
19 Feb, 2018 19:11
Regarding pros and cons, I have yet to hear anyone set out clearly what is the evidence that there is a problem; because without that I don't understand the rationale for change.  All that I have really heard are people expressing prejudice against those (many) imagers who choose to operate remotely or to 'download' their data from a site like DSW, or who have better skies or……  When we try to examine the logic behind this prejudice, it is found wanting.  And we have yet to hear a word of contrition from those who have labelled fellow Astrobin users as cheats.
patrickgilliland
19 Feb, 2018 19:33
KuriousGeorge
very little overlap.
Herein lies the problem  smile .  People will respond and review the bits of the thread they feel impacted by or issues they take Umbridge with.  The point really is the definition - we have not yet defined point 1 and are trying to define points 2,3, and so on.

An interesting observation is I was initially against this but feel if there is to be change the basis for it has to be solid, proven, warranted and able to withstand scrutiny.
Steve Milne
there is a problem
Mainly agree on t.b.h if people want change so be it.  My view is IOTD, TP is an accolade to aspire to, IOTD here for me means more than many other awards as I know despite all the differences in opinions and tastes n people have still selected it.
While I am happy to listen to the wider views changing it so ultimately it becomes 'easier' [not the nest word but struggled to find the right one] to win seems counterintuitive and unless managed very carefully it will devalue it and make it less attractive - ironically this means if someone wins with 'easier' criteria they will value it less, again counterintuitive.

 
Steve Milne
cheats
There have been a few here - they have been found out and banned! If being different or doing differently to someone is is cheating then we all best ban ourselves now!  Under the criteria mentioned, I will be the biggest cheat here as soon as my 0.6m research grade scope is in place,  I paid a fortune for it to better myself but now it's cheating; if only I knew  smile .
Enjoy what floats your boat, no need to knock the efforts and preferences of others.

Not sure there is much more to add now.  Before we proceed
1. Is 'it' actually broken
2. What is 'it'
3. Define 'it'

Only then can any real progress be made to a solid future position.
rob77
19 Feb, 2018 19:34
Paddy Gilliland
Personally I feel categorising devalues the final IOTD, TP's by category I would have no issue with.  But I am not that fussed so long as best images still come to the fore.

Paddy, I think that categorizing - maybe not being the best choice - must happen.
As I wrote yesterday that went lost, if I assemble 600 panels from Subaru for M95 at 0.2"/px, this image should be IOTD against any other image of the same object. This is not happening - my pro data assemblings practically never have been IOTD - meaning that the judges are making some sort of categorization in their minds "this image is pro data so it can't compete with the others" smile .
And I even agree with that!!

In this case, IMHO, it is really far better writing down some categorization and let it clear to all the users.
Maybe starting with something simple and fine tuning further on.

Cheers!
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 19:55
blueangel
19 Feb, 2018 19:37
It appears that there is a natural tendency among the judges to select a wide variety of images as candidates for TP and IOTD.  It seems that there are also enough safeguards in place to ensure that no single source, method of acquisition, or processing flow dominates their selections.  With that in mind, I think that categorization and more rules would only lead to a less desirable outcome.  For that reason, I think any major adjustments to the current system would only make the process less fair.  Since the number of participants has grown exponentially over the years, the chances of getting one’s image chosen for one of these awards has dropped considerably.  It is probably best for those who feel overlooked by the process to recognize that there are probably 5000+ others that share their pain/misfortune.  The diversity of IOTD selections generated by the current system should be celebrated for its remarkable success.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 19:39
RRBBarbosa
19 Feb, 2018 19:38
Hi Steve,

I think it is a human characteristic to react badly to change. It creates discomfort until we get used to what has been changed. Some changes bring positive results, others not so. But change can be part of evolution.

What we are trying to propose is a change that we believe to be positive.

There were negative comments today regarding AAPOD. Yesterday was at APOD …
I think we, here at Astrobin, are convinced that our IOTD selection process is much more advanced and that gives us courage and confidence.

If the intention is to improve the system, why not make the attempt?

With regard to the label of cheaters, in my opinion, it is better to pass this matter forward and to believe that it was said unintentionally. After all, this topic is being discussed in a civilized way when compared to other previous discussions, right?
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 19:43
KuriousGeorge
19 Feb, 2018 19:59
Paddy Gilliland
Personally I feel categorising devalues the final IOTD.

I don't see having more than one IOTD, IOTW or IOTM, depending on how busy the judges are.

Since the winning image now has a category attached to it, people, IMHO, will appreciate it more. It has a much greater meaning.

I believe it will also encourage people to try categories that they may not normally do.

We just need to be sure we mix it up so no one category is exposed more than another.  For IOTD, that might be something like this, depending on # of submissions…

Sunday - INDIVIDUAL
Monday - GROUP/HOSTED
Tuesday - PROFESSIONAL
Wednesday - TERRESTRIAL
Thursday - INDIVIDUAL
Friday - GROUP/HOSTED
Saturday - PROFESSIONAL
sixburg
19 Feb, 2018 20:19
Paddy Gilliland
Not sure there is much more to add now.  Before we proceed1. Is 'it' actually broken
2. What is 'it'
3. Define 'it'

Only then can any real progress be made to a solid future position.
I couldn't agree more with Steve / Paddy.   The problem hypothesis should be stated clearly.  Then the data and analyis either supporting or refuting should be provided.  This provides the best chance of solving the problem(s).

I think one hypothesis is that some are disadvantaged relative to others:  pro data is being excluded from IOTD (show the analysis); remote / data purchases have an advantage over back-yarders (show the analysis), and so on.  How often are TP and IOTD awarded for each group?  Is there a disparity?  Is the disparity correlated to the method of capture?  Feelings rather than facts will land us right back here in a few months.  I think this is my 3rd round of similar discussions.

And finally, my sense is that we get better with constructive criticism.  We don't get that here, but why not?  We don't get that on Flickr or Reddit or Instagram either.  But should we not have that here?  I think the categorization discussions are just fine and could help make things a "fair fight".  At the end of it all what do you get?  A badge.  "You're great"!  If that's all anyone want's then that's cool.  We can get that all day long from the aforementioned sites.

My proposal is that something more be added to the discussion and eventually to AB.  Something that will make AB more distinctive and frankly more useful to the particular needs of our small community.  Also connected to this proposal (lost in the data issue) is the idea of a panel of well-known exemplars in the hobby.  How they participate and the particulars thereof I don't know (I have ideas).  But if there's no popular support for that then so be it.  IOTD does not tell you that your decon process is good or bad.  Doesn't speak directly to noise control, star control, color balance, feature preservation, etc.  It merely says your image was pretty good…now keep doing that.  The rest of us are left wondering why…
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 20:37
gnomus
19 Feb, 2018 20:27
Ruben Barbosa
Hi Steve,I think it is a human characteristic to react badly to change….
All for change, Ruben - so long as there’s a point.  But change, for change’s sake?
KuriousGeorge
19 Feb, 2018 21:08
Paddy Gilliland
Start by defining the guide criteria - this will show where things can be grouped, if agreed in the end these groups define categories.  Step 1 before step 2  smile  - It could end up being a mass of localised issues rather than the one some people currently have.If it reflects the communities wishes then change will come but currently, we are just a few discussing and even a poll will have limited uptake.
Agreed. I'm just trying to jump-start the process by analyzing the site and member comments. My full-time job for the past 25 years has been designing games and contests. I see many analogies here.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 21:10
patrickgilliland
19 Feb, 2018 21:14
Ruben Barbosa
Yesterday was at APOD
You missed the point on the APOD comment 100%!  I was not criticising APOD and qualified this with the fact they have a different agenda - I was interested in praising the fact it would not have made it here as a high quality image.
Deep Sky West (Lloyd)
Paddy Gilliland
a panel of well-known exemplars in the hobby.
 I see this might be hard to manage on an ongoing basis, I would be delighted to be proved wrong though.  It would also be a shame to lose the peer element of the current set-up - but having them define the scope of IOTD would be a great start, this guide would serve all judges experienced or otherwise well.  It would also start the definition of what 'it' actually is.
Ruben Barbosa
change that we believe to be positive
And where is this evidence, her, I don't think so. As with these sorts of topics those who e?want change speak up, those who are happy with the system remain quiet.  1000's are quiet or not fussed it appears.  Believing something to be positive could seriously undermine the site and its use/feel.  I don't really have to worry about that but Salvatore does!

1. As Steve said qualify why first
2. As I said qualify the what/'it'.
3. As Lloyd says fact (not beliefs) .

I am not against change - don't think the others are either and they/I am simply challenging the premise for it.  If we scope, analyse, design, review, build and test then the result will be far superior - without a scope which has to include the reason then how can you jump straight to design or build.  We do not yet know what to analyse and include in the design.  If you do it properly the solution implemented will serve the community well for a long time.  Do it wrong you will just have a different flavour of the same issues.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 21:20
AtmosFearIC
19 Feb, 2018 21:17
I’ll rewrite more of what I did yesterday before the crash when I have some more time but for now I’ll just mentioned that with regards to Roberto and the pro data, if it doesn’t get a Top Pick then it isn’t making it to the judges in the first place.

My understanding is that a Top Pick is any image that is referred to the Judges but doesn’t make IOTD.
diegocolonnello
19 Feb, 2018 21:23
If top pick is not chosen by Judges,  why can't the judges get them?  And then… if for example atmosfearIC gets one,  he shouldn't see his image on the judge list…
patrickgilliland
19 Feb, 2018 21:23
KuriosGeorge
jump-start the process by analyzing
Before we analyse we scope, I design international enterprise resource solutions (yes, that is more boring than your job  smile  ) define 'it' the reason, the purpose and the future state.  Then you can analyse against those criteria.
Edited 19 Feb, 2018 21:24
 
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