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Search interface has changed - do not have access to all the search parameters I used to have

24 Nov, 2018 15:30
Hello,  I logged in today to do some searches and the search dialog is radically different than it was earlier in the week.  The very nice dialog down the left side of the page is gone and I can no longer filter by things like length of exposure or camera pixel size that I used almost all the time.  I do not see anything in the announcements saying that it was changing - but this new UI severely limits the types of searches that I did before.  Can someone tell me what is happening?

Thanks - I love the site and have become very dependent on the search for getting information on exposures and other setups when planning my own sessions.  It is the best - maybe only place where such information is so concentrated!
24 Nov, 2018 16:01
Hi JD,
the new search is radically better than the old one. The camera pixel size was very limited anyway because it was depending on user input which could be wrong. It will be introduced again once the gear equipment gets standardize and deduplicated (an effort that I will start very soon).

I don't see how this search limits the types of search as it actually provides almost everything as before plus new additions.

Please give it another chance and have a good look at all the options!

PS: length of exposure, called integration time, is also available.
24 Nov, 2018 21:54
Hi Salvatore
I guess I don't understand the search interface - sorry to be so slow/dense.  Maybe it is because I test software to make my living :-)

I enter the following:
Search Terms  "ngc281"
Search domain "images"
Search type "Everything"
Minimum data "Aquisition details"
Telescope type "Apochromatic"

It tells me:  Results 136  and it shows 2 pages - but displays NO thumbnails.  When I click on the Search button - the Search Type, Minimum data, and Telescope type vibrate right to left - what does that mean?  I'm assuming there is a problem with that selection, but there is no message to indicate what is wrong with my query…

If I remove Minimum data and Telescope filter - then I get 595 results and see the thumbnails - but the Search type still vibrates.

So I'm sort of lost as to how the search feature is supposed to work.  The search may, as you say, provide all the capabilities as before - but I cannot figure out how to make it work.
24 Nov, 2018 22:01
I think that there is a problem with the search interface.  I re-did that last query - it looks exactly the same as before, the new query worked.

I closed the browser, opened a new browser - went to, typed in ngc281 in the Quick Search and pressed enter - now I got the filter window and it tells me I have Results 594 - but shows NO thumbnails.  It says there are 9 pages, but shows nothing.  I can click on the page numbers - but nothing is displayed.
I am using Chrome 70.0.3538.

Salvatore - I test software 40 hours+ per week, I'm not a novice using browsers or search facilities.  I'm not trying to cause problems, just give you feedback - and I am sincerely trying to use the website - which I am addicted to!  :-)
24 Nov, 2018 22:30
Hi JD.

  • The "shake" animation was definitely a bad UX choice! I'm changing it to a pop-in. It's supposed to bring you eye to the new filter element on the page.
  • There seems to be an intermittent problem and sometimes the results don't get assigned to the page, so even if the results are there, the total count is there, and the page numbers is there, the page is empty. I will look into it!
25 Nov, 2018 02:51
Am back in the search interface just now and it is working much better!  Thanks for whatever you did!!
25 Nov, 2018 10:19
I can't get the new interface to work.

I can search for a target, but if I try to filter it any further I get either no results at all or if say I select apochromatic telescope it brings everything up done with an APO and not the target I wanted.

Might need a guide on how to do the searches.

25 Nov, 2018 10:22
Hmm, it works fine for me Carole. Can you give some specifics? Copy paste the URL of a search that you think is broken, please.
25 Nov, 2018 21:40
Well maybe I am not doing it right.  But I enter the catalogue number for the target I want and a whole load come up.  I then want to choose a similar telescope to what I have and drop down the menu and choose imaging scopes, and then I get no further option to choose a type of scope.  so I hit search and get no results.
25 Nov, 2018 22:11
That’s because there are no telescopes named NGC2170.
25 Nov, 2018 23:18
I think her confusion (as was mine) is that in the past I could enter NGC2170 C14 and it could find both the object and the telescope reference… now it seems that is not the case - which was initially confusing to me as well.  It seems to limit the search abilities that we used to have.  So while I think the new interface has some nice features - it does represent a significant change in how the functionality behaves.
26 Nov, 2018 06:53
Hi JD, you are mistaken: you could never find gear items directly on AstroBin. Only pictures taken with those items, and you still can.

The "Search type" selection means: in which properties of an image should I look for your search term?

By default it looks at everything (title, description, astrometry objects, gear, etc), but you can narrow it down.

Say there is a new telescope brand name called "M 45", and if you just search for "M 45" you get a lot of pictures of the Orion nebula, so it's hard to find pictures taken with the telescope from the telescope maker company called "M 45".

But with "Search type" you can tell AstroBin to look for M 45 but only look at the "Imaging telescopes" property of an image.

I hope this clarifies it!
26 Nov, 2018 13:23
That is interesting because it sure appeared to work.  I could put in    NGC 281 asi1600mm  and it appeared that I only got the images for NGC 281 that had some connection to the asi1600mm… maybe it was just ones where those two items were in a common field - description maybe?  I can't re-test my hypothesis now.

It's just going to take a bit of time to get comfortable with the new search UI - I do like that you can filter so that only images with acquisition information are returned.  That is probably the best improvement as my searches almost always involve wanting to get help with the exposure information.  Any additional improvements like that will be greatly appreciated!

26 Nov, 2018 13:29
I could put in    NGC 281 asi1600mm  and it appeared that I only got the images for NGC 281 that had some connection to the asi1600mm
That still works with the default "Search type" of "Everything".
26 Nov, 2018 21:40
Sorry, I don't like the new search.
With the old one I could search for images taken with equipment similar to mine - APO Refractor, 80mm aperture etc.
Results also seem odd.
26 Nov, 2018 21:51
You can do exactly the same with the new. Very little changed in the backend, so the results are the same. The old search was simply extended, and the new search behaves by default like the old one.

I can’t see what’s not to like.
27 Nov, 2018 09:10
Must be user error smile

Could you post me a screen shot of the filter settings to show images taken with an Apochromatic Refractor, Aperture between 70-90mm and CCD camera?

How do I save filter settings so I don't have to add which filters I want each time I access Astrobin? The filters were all there on the old version and that really helped as I use several different computers and regularly have to delete cookies for security purposes.

EDIT. I just tries searching M31, Images, Imaging Telescope and got zero results? Same if I use Imaging Camera. Surely something should be returned?


Edited 27 Nov, 2018 09:14
27 Nov, 2018 09:15
aperture and pixel size filters have been temporarily removed because they relied on user input that is too messy at the moment, so I will be improving that next.

For the rest, just select the following:

Search domain: Images
Search type: Everything
Add filter -> Telescope type: Apochromatic
Add filter -> Camera type: CCD

Saving searches is not supported but you can bookmark the URL that you end up with, in this case:
27 Nov, 2018 09:18
EDIT. I just tries searching M31, Images, Imaging Telescope and got zero results? Same if I use Imaging Camera. Surely something should be returned?

Please copy/paste the URL here so I can see if something is wrong.

EDIT: if you say "Search type: Imaging telescope", you are telling AstroBin to look for images acquired with a telescope called M 31.

Maybe I should rename "Search type" to something else to make it cleared? Perhap "Search in…" ?
Edited 27 Nov, 2018 09:19
27 Nov, 2018 09:25
Sorry, I cant get my head around that even though you explained it. I expected each filter to be an "and" expression but it sounds like some are sub-filters?

How do I post an image of the URL/Search?

EDIT. URL below - my SQL is very limited but it looks like they are set up as  "and" Boolean clauses. So I would expect the search to pull back anything that is M31 and taken with Imaging Camera?
Edited 27 Nov, 2018 09:28
27 Nov, 2018 09:31
Yes, each filter is a logical AND, which is equivalent to restricting the results for each filter you add.

Search domain is the widest filter and tells which objects you want returned (Images, Users or Comments/Forums)

The rest of the filters, explained below, are only valid for the Images search domain:

Search type = in what properties of the image should AstroBin look for your search terms:
  • Everything = look everywhere
  • Title = only look in the image title (so if you search M31, it will find images that have M31 in their title)
  • Description = only look in the image title (so if you search M31, it will find images that have M31 in their description)
  • Objects in fields = only look in the astronomical objects in the field, as they have been found by astrometry plate solution
  • By gear used (telescope, camera, etc) = only look in those fields, so if you search for "Takahashi FSQ 106" as Imaging telescope, it will only return images that have that telescope as imaging telescope. Not as guiding telescope, not in the title if it was acquired with a camera lens and the author titled the image "I wish I had a Takahashi FSQ 106"
Does this clear it up?
27 Nov, 2018 10:15
I think the fact that you had to explain it in such detail probably answers your question, it's not at all intuitive.

I cant reconcile your description to a simple "and" scenario but don't know what your schema looks like.

I suspect the issue is that Search Type needs to be the first thing the user chooses, it needs to be a separate item and at the top labelled something like "Where do you want to search"

Then having decided which "database" you want to search the user  should select  filters using obvious "and" constraints.

Personally I prefer the old filters but would be grateful if you could answer my question above regarding how to search for images taken with setups similar to my own.

Hope this helps, I don't want to be critical but I suspect others will be similarly confused.


27 Nov, 2018 10:19
Hi Jon,
yeah, I need to rename  "Search type" to something else to make it more obvious. Thanks for the feedback!

would be grateful if you could answer my question above regarding how to search for images taken with setups similar to my own.
As I said, Aperture/Pixel size are gone for a while, as I fix the equipment database as my next big task. I already explained how to further filter by equipment: add filters for telescope type and camera type, and select which types you would like to be included in the filter. Did you notice the "Add filter" box?
27 Nov, 2018 14:13
Great, thanks, I look forward to having the aperture back, found that really useful.
I have used the add filter but it's a bit painful having to add filters every time I access the site.

Great site though!!
27 Nov, 2018 14:18
You can bookmark the URL after the search and keep them neatly in a bookmarks folder in your browser smile
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