ASF has developed and deployed a user interface to highlight the contents of the pre-processed ASF SAR Datapool. Vertex is an intuitive user interface that facilitates the search for and visualization of ASF Datapool assets, delivery of relevant metadata about those assets, and facilitates the bulk delivery of those ASF data. Vertex is designed to familiarize users with SAR data without requiring any prior knowledge of SAR platforms, beam modes or processing parameters.|
Vertex is a one page user interface comprised of functional modals for quick data visualization and access. Required search parameters are limited to a geographic region of interest (Figure 1) or a defined granule list supplied by the user. Initial searching is, by default, all SAR platforms with data archived at ASF, thus maximizing the visibility of all platforms in the ASF archive to all users.
Vertex search returns provide thumbnail imagery of all SAR products, with the exception of RADARSAT-1, and basic metadata for all search results. Within the search results list, you can click anywhere in a given returned cell and access the product profile page (Figure 2) for that particular granule which contains a low resolution browse image, expanded metadata from the return cell, as well as the ability to add processed products to your Download Queue, all without having to be a NASA approved scientist. By scrolling through the search return list, frames are highlighted on the map as you scroll over the returned cells allowing the researcher to gain geographic orientation for any individual granule. Historically, ASF search interfaces have imposed a 1000 granule limitation on search returns which has proven unsatisfactory for many users. In response, Vertex has no numerical limitations such as this, and narrowing the field of search returns relevant to a given scientific question is aided by a suite of platform specific post-search filters.
All satellite borne sensors have a suite of post-search filters specific to orbits, flight directions, off-nadir angles or paths. A textual filter called the “Find” box appears in the top right corner of every search, and allows textual filtering for parameters of interest (Figure 3).
All ASF DAAC users with an approved proposal have full access to download SAR data through Vertex, either as individual granules or via a bulk delivery method available through the download queue. The login modal supports established users’ ability to log in to Vertex with their existing DAAC user ID and password. The registration button within the login modal provides the information on how to acquire a NASA approved account, which grants access to restricted data from the ASF Datapool for download.
The download queue is a great way to manage valuable search results. Either through the profile page or via the return cell itself, a user can add an item directly to the download queue (Figure 4), as well as remove items without having to open the download queue specifically, though removal of granules form the download queue is also an option. The contents of the download queue can be delivered via one of the bulk download clients for the Metalink file format, available through the queue and the ASF bulk download informational page, as a csv file with direct download links, or as a kml file additional for visualization in Google Earth. All data delivered through Vertex is http accessible as zip files for approved users.
Additional features of Vertex include an integrated feedback mechanism, accessible by selecting the Feedback button at the top of the Vertex page. Through this feedback mechanism, users are able to submit feedback directly to the Vertex Google Group, a forum monitored by all members of the ASF staff that are directly working to improve the user experience through Vertex, and which is directly accessible via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Of course, users are always welcome to provide feedback via e-mail to email@example.com or via phone at 907-474-6166