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Planetary Data System Redesign

The redesign of the primary web site of the Planetary Data System (PDS) was deployed on August 8, 2008, in preparation for public beta test starting August 15. This is an all-new front end design for the PDS, designed using user-centered methods, by Mark Rose. The purpose of the redesign is to improve usability for PDS users. Goals include a simpler, more consistent interface; a consistent method for searching for data across multiple nodes; and greater accessibility of PDS tools and users for both data and tools.

The new design features a simplified information model, better adherence to web standards, and a new, faceted search interface to guide users to PDS data faster. The PDS beta was designed at NASA Ames in collaboration with the PDS users. It is hosted at the PDS Engineering Node at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The PDS beta URL is

BACKGROUND: The Planetary Data System (PDS) is a distributed archive of data products from NASA planetary missions. PDS actively manages the archive to maximize its usefulness, and it has become a basic resource for scientists around the world. PDS is composed of eight teams, called “nodes.” Five of these are science discipline nodes, focusing on Atmospheres, Geosciences, Planetary Plasma Interactions, Rings, and Small Bodies. The remaining three nodes provide systems engineering, navigation and ephemeris information, and image processing support. PDS is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). All PDS-produced products are peer-reviewed, well-documented, and easily accessible via a system of online catalogs that are organized by planetary disciplines.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: PDS Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate

Contact: Jay Trimble


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