OpenPlanetary Data Café and other splinter meetings & workshops at EPSC 2018, Berlin

Encouraged by the success of our first OpenPlanetary Data Café in Riga last year, we are organising a second edition in Berlin for the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC).

Nicolas Manaud
Sep 15, 2018 · 5 min read

We’ve taken into account for participants feedback who said they would like to see more short hands-on tutorials and less chit-chat the next time.

This year, we decided to start following an unconference format: a participant-driven meeting where the agenda is created by the attendees at the beginning of the event. Anyone who wants to initiate a discussion on a topic can claim a time and a space. Unconferences typically feature open discussions rather than having a single speaker at the front of the room given a talk, although any format is permitted.

During an OpenPlanetary Data Café, you can expect to learn new tools or techniques that can help you in your workflow, to find help for a problem you have, and to participate in co-creating activities related to community-driven projects.

We will have two sessions of 3 hours each during the week:

  • Sep 18th, Tuesday 12:45–15:45 (Room Mercury)
  • Sep 20th, Thursday 12:45–15:45 (Room Mercury)

Don’t miss it, come say hi, everybody can participate! …and, there will be free-food! (thank you to Europlanet-VESPA folks). You can read more information about OpenPlanetary Data Cafés.

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“Machine Learning with Python Notebooks” tutorial by Mario d’Amore last year at EPSC 2017, Riga

Others splinters meetings and workshops of interest

We’ve noticed this year more and more similar data/tools hands-on and cross-discipline events helping us to engage with each other at conference like EPSC. We think this is great, and we encourage you to attend those too if you can:

Seminar on Solar System Geometry with SPICE (public)
Convener: Marc Costa
Wed, 19 Sep, 14:00–15:45 / Room Mercury

During this course a brief introduction to SPICE will be provided and it will be followed by a practical hands-on lesson of a SPICE application based on a Mars-Express remote sensing observation scenario. We will also go through WebGeocalc, SPICE-Enhanced Cosmographia 3D Visualization Software and the Python package spiops. A Linux Virtual Machine will be distributed with everything required pre-installed. The used programming language will be Python. People who would like to use IDL, Matlab, C or FORTRAN are also welcome but they should come with their environment setup for SPICE.

Solar System Virtual Observatory Hands-on session
Convener: Michel Gangloff
Thu, 20 Sep, 16:15–20:00 / Room Mercury

The solar and planetary sciences Virtual Observatory has developed various tools in the frame of EU-FP7 and H2020 projects (Europlanet, HELIO, IMPEx etc). In order to spread these tools to the community and collect user experience, as well as gain new users, Europlanet VESPA organises periodic tutorials at major planetary conferences, EGU and EPSC. The session will start with an overview of VESPA, followed by several tutorials during which participants will be able to interact with the VESPA Team.

NASA’s Astromaterials Data System: Engaging the Community
Convener: Kerstin Lehnert
Tue, 18 Sep, 16:15–18:00 / Room Mercury

The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (AACO) at NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA-JSC) has initiated the development of an astromaterials data system (AstroDB) by the EarthChem group at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. AstroDB will extend the content and functionality of the existing MoonDB data system to provide easy access to a comprehensive synthesis of analytical data acquired on astromaterial samples curated at the JSC. This splinter meeting aims to inform the community about development plans and timelines and system features, and to invite the community to engage in the project.

sbpy — an astropy affilated module for small-body planetary astronomy
Convener: Michael Mommert
Tue, 18 Sep, 18:15–20:00 / Room Mercury

This workshop will introduce the Python module sbpy, a community project that aims to develop an astropy affiliated package for small-body planetary astronomy. sbpy’s functionality will include analysis tools and model implementations for photometry, spectroscopy, cometary activity, thermal emission from atmosphere-less bodies, and small-body light-curves; it furthermore provides tools for data archive access, comet coma image enhancement, and small-body observation planning. Information on the package and its installation can be found at The workshop will introduce some of the currently available features and enable the discussion of future functionality. Everybody who is interested in contributing to, testing, or simply using sbpy is invited. sbpy is supported by NASA PDART Grant №80NSSC18K0987.

Science Cross Talks
Convener: Maike Brigitte Neuland
Mon, 17 Sep, 12:45–13:45 / Room Mars

An event for early career scientists, organised by EPEC. Naturally, we scientists stick around those who are working on the same or similar topics as we do. A conference offers the great possibility to sneak into sessions discussing other fields, other planets, other methods. However, there is always too little time to do so. Therefore, we are holding a lunch break together, where people will be shuffled for conversation with participants from other fields. Come around, let’s have lunch together and get to know young researchers from other places!

USGS Integrated Photogrammetric Control Environment (IPCE) Software Demonstration
Convener: Kenneth Edmundson
Tue, 18 Sep, 10:45–12:30 / Room Mercury

The US Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center is developing in ISIS3 an Integrated Photogrammetric Control Environment (IPCE). IPCE offers a seamless, efficient, more intuitive and automated approach to the photogrammetric control process for planetary mapping. Here we will describe and demonstrate this software.

Demonstration of the SSHADE solid spectroscopy database for Planetary Sciences
Convener: Bernard Schmitt
Mon, 17 Sep, 16:15–18:00 / Room Mercury
Wed, 19 Sep, 10:45–12:30 / Room Mercury
Fri, 21 Sep, 08:30–10:15 / Room Mercury

The European SSHADE database on spectroscopy of solids ( currently provides on-line spectroscopic data (mostly from UV to Far-IR) of 15 experimental groups on various types of solids. The measured samples include ices, minerals, rocks, organic and carbonaceous materials… and also liquids. They are either synthesized in the laboratory, natural terrestrial analogs collected or measured in the field, or extraterrestrial samples collected on Earth or on planetary bodies: (micro-)meteorites, IDPs, lunar soil. During this session we will make a live demonstration of the web interface of SSHADE and its search/visualization/export tools. We will then let you play with SSHADE to try to found your favorite data (take your laptop), and ask questions.

See you in Berlin!

The OpenPlanetary Team


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