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Using Cassini Raw Images, An Update
djellison
post Jan 27 2007, 11:47 AM
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Over the past 3 years, we've been fortunate enough to have an ever expanding library of nearly 200,000 images from the Mars Exploration Rovers thrown onto the web as uncalibrated JPG's for enthusiasts like ourselves to get our teeth in to. The success of this is written on the walls of UMSF and elsewhere, and most remarkably, the scientists and engineers involved were pleased to see people getting their hands on 'their' data. Jim Bell even commented on Planetary Radio in November '05 :
"The team really appreciates the public support, and we put the images out there every day on marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov and people download them and make their own mosaics and panoramas and do their own analysis and we think that's great - it's great to have the public along for the ride"


Cassini followed suit and after some trouble getting images that were not overly stretched the workflow was sorted out and amazing images have been making it onto the JPL website ever since. From time to time we've seen some great results - mosaics, colour composites, animation - great work and a fantastic credit to the Cassini team, their policy of putting images online and the example set by MER.

However - over the last 18 months or so there have been some rumours and unpleasant undertones regarding Cassini imagery. Some enthusiasts who have created amazing images found that their creations were not universally appreciated. There seemed to be an unspoken 'look but don't touch' policy in place regarding the raw JPG's and thus they stopped working with Cassini imagery or took down bits of their websites and so on.

Over the past year or so, the UMSF mod and admin team have been discussing this, and recently we contacted JPL for clarification. Could we find some way to give people the confidence to get creative with the Cassini images as they have with MER images? I want to thank the Cassini outreach team for responding to us so positively and for everyone involved in helping us establish in writing what we all hoped was true, but were perhaps a little unsure of. I'm happy to report that the Cassini images are out there for us to use and enjoy in exactly the same way we do with MER imagery.

To confirm that - recently there has been an addition to the text on the Raw Images page saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

"Welcome to the Cassini raw image section, where the Cassini mission and Cassini outreach are happy to provide these raw images for the public to use and enjoy. ... "

As with MER - if you do something with the Cassini images - you should cite where the data comes from. For MER it has always been NASA/JPL/Cornell and for Cassini it should be NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. For those of you that may have had concerns or doubts about getting thoroughly stuck in to the Cassini imagery, then you can put those fears aside and get stuck in - to cite a senior Cassini team member:

"Our intent in creating the raw image page was to accomplish exactly what Jim Bell said for the MER Project. The public is paying the bill for this, so we should be doing everything we can to help them enjoy the ride"

So - crack open your photo editing software and start exploring Saturn!

Thanks to Alice and the team at JPL for helping us with this, and personal thanks to the rest of the mod and admin team who, as ever, knew the rights words to say at the right time.

Doug
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elakdawalla
post Feb 22 2007, 03:45 PM
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I'll confirm that Dr. Porco has repeatedly asked for me not to post amateur-produced products on The Planetary Society's website. Each time, I have contacted Cassini Mission public information and/or project management staff and asked for clarification of the Mission's policy regarding fair use of the raw images. Each time, the Mission has confirmed that amateur-produced images, whether produced by me or others, whether they are mosaics, color combinations, or animations, or any description of them, constitute fair use of the raw images, and they say they are happy for me to post them. Thus this discussion results from a fundamental disagreement between Dr. Porco and her project management over the use of the Cassini ISS images. It has been extremely uncomfortable to be in the middle of this conflict between a senior scientist and mission management. In order to avoid this conflict, for about a year, I sharply cut back my coverage of the Cassini mission. But thanks to the recently updated public notice of the Mission's policy on the raw images home page, I have been emboldened to start posting them again. I am sorry to cause pain to anyone but I either have to avoid talking about Cassini or make a choice between these two sides, and in this case I prefer to err on the side of celebrating the current activities of the Cassini mission as well as the fine work of amateurs and professionals alike by making use of the publicly posted raw images. I hope that Dr. Porco and her management can come to a private resolution of this issue soon.

I would like to address the argument that little valid science can be done with Mars Exploration Rover Pancam images alone. There are a number of examples, like rock size/shape/frequency distributions, layer morphology, etc. that could be done with Pancam images alone. However, Pancam images are rarely used for science on their own in large part because of the (sadly) unusual level of cooperation among instrument teams on the Mars Exploration Rover mission; there is no need to attempt to use only images to make discoveries with MER. And the (in my view) blockbuster discovery of the Cassini mission -- the geologic activity of Enceladus -- was made by all Cassini instruments working together.

--Emily


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tedstryk
post Feb 22 2007, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 22 2007, 03:45 PM) *
I would like to address the argument that little valid science can be done with Mars Exploration Rover Pancam images alone. There are a number of examples, like rock size/shape/frequency distributions, layer morphology, etc. that could be done with Pancam images alone. However, Pancam images are rarely used for science on their own in large part because of the (sadly) unusual level of cooperation among instrument teams on the Mars Exploration Rover mission; there is no need to attempt to use only images to make discoveries with MER. And the (in my view) blockbuster discovery of the Cassini mission -- the geologic activity of Enceladus -- was made by all Cassini instruments working together.

--Emily


I think the difference may well be that short of photographing a patch of grass or Marvin the Martian, the scientific discoveries from MER images are much less likely to be made by playing with the raw jpegs or simply looking at them. Still, Cassini is the fourth spacecraft to visit Saturn, and has imaged at least portions of all the major targets at relatively high resolution. The chances of it simply stumbling on something that could be understood from the raw jpegs is much lower than it could be.


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Posts in this topic
- djellison   Using Cassini Raw Images   Jan 27 2007, 11:47 AM
- - scalbers   Interesting to hear today that CICLOPS may soon be...   Feb 11 2007, 11:14 PM
- - dilo   To confirm what Doug report, I just received last ...   Feb 12 2007, 07:10 AM
- - djellison   Actually the Sector 6 news is a new, very suprisin...   Feb 12 2007, 08:36 AM
|- - ugordan   Yeah, talk about a plot twist... I'm curious, ...   Feb 12 2007, 08:59 AM
- - CosmicRocker   This is really quite good news. I wasn't awar...   Feb 12 2007, 09:50 PM
- - mysagan   To all of you from Carolyn Porco... -------------...   Feb 22 2007, 01:46 AM
|- - ElkGroveDan   QUOTE (mysagan @ Feb 21 2007, 05:46 PM) C...   Feb 22 2007, 08:44 PM
- - dusty   Hi folks. This is Dusty from #space on irc.freenod...   Feb 22 2007, 02:03 PM
- - ngunn   I appreciate Carolyn taking so much time to explai...   Feb 22 2007, 02:46 PM
- - climber   I must say that having Carolyn Porco's opinion...   Feb 22 2007, 02:47 PM
- - ugordan   Actually she says APOD and TPS are "grey medi...   Feb 22 2007, 02:56 PM
|- - AlexBlackwell   QUOTE (ugordan @ Feb 22 2007, 04:56 AM) A...   Feb 22 2007, 06:11 PM
- - elakdawalla   I'll confirm that Dr. Porco has repeatedly ask...   Feb 22 2007, 03:45 PM
|- - tedstryk   QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 22 2007, 03:45 P...   Feb 22 2007, 05:07 PM
|- - stevesliva   QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 22 2007, 10:45 A...   Feb 22 2007, 05:31 PM
- - Littlebit   QUOTE (Dr. Porco)Maybe it's not possible for s...   Feb 22 2007, 04:15 PM
- - dvandorn   There is really only one example of a Cassini disc...   Feb 22 2007, 05:21 PM
|- - tedstryk   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Feb 22 2007, 05:21 PM) ...   Feb 22 2007, 06:29 PM
|- - AlexBlackwell   QUOTE (tedstryk @ Feb 22 2007, 08:29 AM) ...   Feb 22 2007, 06:52 PM
- - tasp   Also interesting is the varied reactions to the Ia...   Feb 22 2007, 06:41 PM
- - Nix   "I ask you: Would *you* be disappointed? ...   Feb 22 2007, 07:00 PM
- - helvick   The speculation here about the Enceladan plumes wa...   Feb 22 2007, 07:38 PM
|- - centsworth_II   QUOTE (helvick @ Feb 22 2007, 02:38 PM) T...   Feb 22 2007, 09:41 PM
- - djellison   I think it's right and fair that Carolyn air h...   Feb 22 2007, 09:13 PM
- - CarolynPorco   Everyone, Interesting comments, along the lines -...   Feb 22 2007, 11:11 PM
- - helvick   QUOTE No one credits the discovery of America to t...   Feb 23 2007, 01:45 AM
- - djellison   I'd like to thank Carolyn for her input, and a...   Feb 23 2007, 08:20 AM


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