It was developed by Dominic Ford, with the aim of making it possible to embed scienfically-accurate charts in websites, in a style similar to that used by most scientific journals.
It is also designed to make it easy to make interactive plots, where the user can change the axis ranges with intuitive scroll and zoom operations.
JSPlot can render charts onto HTML5 canvas objects, to PNG files, or to SVG files.
I work on the Exoplanet Analysis System for the European Space Agency's forthcoming PLATO mission, which is scheduled for launch in 2026. I am based at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, UK, where I work with Nicholas Walton.
From 2017 until 2019, I worked at Lund Observatory, Sweden, leading the development of the 4MOST consortium's data analysis pipeline for spectroscopic surveys of the Milky Way. In particular, I studied the strengths and limitations of machine-learning techniques for analysing astronomical spectra, since such methods may be the only feasible way to process the tens of thousands of spectra that 4MOST will observe every night.
Projects I work on in my spare time
- In-The-Sky.org – a guide to what's visible in the night sky, which automatically tailors information to wherever you happen to live on Earth.
- ScienceDemos.org.uk – a collection of fun interactive online science demos.
- HillTopViews.org.uk – a three-dimensional terrain map of the world, based on altitude data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 2000, combined with additional open-source data from Open Street Map.
- Dominic's photos – When I'm not doing other things, I dabble in amateur photography, and you can find some of my photos here.
- An astrophoto archive – A highly experimental tool for publishing galleries of astrophotos online, searchable by object name or celestial coordinates.
- Pi Gazing – a fun project to set up a network of motion-sensitive security cameras which triangulate the three-dimensional trajectories of shooting stars, satellites and aircraft. We use Raspberry Pis to do the real-time image analysis, running astrometry.net to precisely determine the direction each camera was pointing, and a GPS receiver to determine their positions. This project ran from 2014–2016 in collaboration with Cambridge Science Centre under its former name of MeteorPi. I doing some work in my spare time to try to restart. The code needs a lot of cleaning up, but is all available on GitHub.