August 14, 2010

The Exoplanet Seeker and Mendeley

I recently built a tunnel to a new source of information about exoplanets. This new source is an outfit called Mendeley, in which i tapped their API to bring in lists of Scientific papers about exoplanets and present them inside The Exoplanet Seeker's pages.

There’s still a lot to be improved in The Exoplanet Seeker, especially in terms of getting the right names of exoplanets. Often, a simple blank space causes null results (HAT-P-7b vs. HAT-P-7 b) from the datasources. So, i would continue to improve it as time goes by. For now, the most notable upgrade is the addition of Mendeley among the data sources, and the creation of a faster launcher page for The Exoplanet Seeker. It now has a new home, so please update your bookmarks.

I heard about Mendeley in the past, but i felt it was too “sciencey” and inaccessible for a laymen like me. All that changed when I heard about their open API. So i immediately coded up something to test what they had to offer. And it did not disappoint.

In as much as new exoplanet discoveries are starting to change the landscape of Humanity’s Thought (to be punctuated by the revelation of earth-like planets) the evolution of the web is also changing the landscape of Science. What Mendeley has done with their Open API is great for the proliferation of Scientific study via the internet for both professional scientists, researchers and lay-people.

What i am anticipating is the imminent data explosion in Planetary Science brought about by the accelerating discovery of new exoplanets. How will Scientists keep up with petabytes of raw data? How will web technology keep up? How will the internet enable Citizens to contribute to science for the love of it?

Clearly, we are living at a time like no other. Right now i can only say two words that keep me excited about the changing landscape of the relationship between Science and Technology: Fascination and Wonder!

Pipe Dream:
Space Matters:
The Exoplanet Seeker Home: