WP7 - GENIUS Dissemination

This work package includes the development and implementation of the basic infrastructure for the community portal (hardware, content management system, design, etc.).

  • WP7 - Dissemination [Months: 1-42]
  • Lead beneficiary: CSUC (formerly CESCA)
  • Type of activity: OTHER

Covering Community portal, outreach and academic activities. This work package also includes the development of some tools for outreach and academic activities. Although not explicitly included in the call, we consider the task of presenting astronomy to the general public and the provision of resources for teaching astronomy based on actual Gaia data as worthy contributions to the dissemination of space mission data on a global scale.

T7.1 - Coordination of dissemination activities [Months: 1-42]


The management of this work package will be done in direct coordination with the GENIUS executive board, since the tasks included here are of a global nature and its supervision needs a global view of the project.

T7.2 - Community portal infrastructure [Months: 1-42]


The development and implementation of the community portal, based on a personalization and customization of a content management system (like Drupal or similar), will be done following a user-centered design (UCD) methodology. The portal will include information about the project, documents, links to references, alerts, news, tutorials, etc., as well as all the necessary contents that will be defined in the first steps of the portal analysis. In addition, the basic infrastructure to host the portal will be delivered, including the consequent maintenance of the needed software and hardware.

Once the portal is ready, content provision will be continuously done to spread information on the projectís status and to provide up to date and useful information (news, images, videos, . . . ) created within the project for each community (general public, science community,. . . ) and with the researchersí guidance. At the same time, the use of social networks will help to increase awareness of the project and to attract people interested in Astronomy to the portal. The community manager will publish real time information in social networks, which will generate traffic to the portal and will help to spread the project and its achievements.

T7.3 - Community portal, outreach and academic activities [Months: 1-42]


The basic dissemination of the Gaia data is already ensured by the usual ESA dissemination activities through its three-level web portal system, including the archive portal to be provided at ESAC. However, in order to increase the visibility and dissemination of the Gaia products we propose to make an additional effort by building a GENIUS community portal aimed to provide enhanced dissemination tools.

This portal should, on the one hand, act as an entry point and hosting site for advanced services for the scientific community, tied to the tools developed in GENIUS (and beyond). On the other hand, and although not explicitly included in the FP7 call, we believe that the task of bringing astronomy to the general public and the provision of resources for teaching astronomy based on actual Gaia data is a worthy contribution to dissemination of space mission data on a global scale.

The work in this work package will be carried out in coordination with WP200 in order to ensure the gathering of the inputs and contributions of the widest possible community. It will use a relatively small fraction of resources aimed to coordinate and integrate into the portal the inputs of the wider Gaia community (DPAC, GREAT, REG, etc.) for the professional, outreach and academic users leaving the (larger) resources for the design, implementation and maintenance of the portal to be included in WP600 (to be provided by the CESCA partner). Special care will be taken to coordinate the activity of this portal with the official Gaia sites at ESA, where one could even consider an integration of the portal if feasible.

Specifically, outreach will mainly rely on the outside contributions of several teams (in GENIUS and more generally in CU9) that have expressed an interest in outreach, in particular the UB team and the CNRS team at the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon) have expressed its interest in this task.

A first description of the outreach ideas for the community portal follows:

Main home: entry point, including a description of the main characteristics and highlights of the Gaia mission and the contents of the catalogue.

Tools for teaching: a set of tools will be developed for teaching purposes. They will be mainly visualization tools of specific areas of the catalogue data, derived from the visualization tools developed under WP420. To facilitate the data access this site is expected to work with a reduced, light-weight version of the Gaia catalogue (for instance restricted to astrometry and some photometric data, or only including the catalogue information up to a given bright magnitude), but the access to the full catalogue will be open to all for those willing to go beyond these tools.

A few examples of the possible tools are: A 3-D display of the solar neighbourhood from any point of the space, a dynamic sky tool showing the sky at different epochs based on the Gaia proper motions, a simple tool to generate HR diagrams of clusters or specific populations.

News: the goal is to present to the general public the last news of the mission, from the operational phases, to the catalogue releases or the scientific works from the Gaia data. This section will most likely be based on a feed off the news sections of the main Gaia and DPAC web sites, specifically tailored for the needs of GENIUS with the addition of internal news.

Science alerts: Gaia will generate a lot of scientific alerts during the 5 years of operation (i.e detection of supernovae or new solar system objects). Using a feed from the main Gaia Science Alerts system (see WP600) these can be presented in the GENIUS site adding specific links to the catalogue data. Once GENIUS is finished we envisage a handover of the community portal to the wider Gaia community, for instance through one or more of the the national partners involved in GENIUS.


  • Manager: J. Torra (UB)
  • Partners:
    • UB: E. Masana, F. Figueras, C. Jordi
    • CSUC: T. Via, Silvia Salgado, J. Cambres, G. Roldan,
    • CNRS: F. Arenou


The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-SPACE-2013-1) under grant agreement nį606740.

Topic revision: r7 - 2015-12-18 - LolaBalaguer
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