The WebGeocalc tool (WGC)
provides a web-based graphical user interface to many of the observation geometry computations available from the "SPICE" system.
A WGC user can perform SPICE computations without the need to write a program; the user need have only a computer with a standard web browser.
A WebGeocalc Tutorial (PDF format) provides an introduction to this tool.
The WGC server is built upon the Toolkit code available from the NAIF server; it merely provides another kind of interface to that code.
WGC can support NASA's planetary projects and planetary data research in several ways.
- It opens up much of the SPICE computational capability to those unable to write programs
- It offers a mechanism that scientists and engineers may use to help verify their own SPICE-based code
- It provides a quick and easy means for peer reviewers of science data archives to spot check many of the observation geometry computations included in the archive
- It opens the possibility to obtain a quick answer to a geometry question arising during a meeting
WGC makes the job of computing many kinds of observation geometry quicker and somewhat easier than if one has to write a program to do so. A modest amount of HELP information is provided within the tool. Nevertheless, the user must have some understanding of the concepts and terminology used in the field of planetary science, and in SPICE.
NAIF has prepared three examples of using WGC, one that is quite trivial, a complementary pair that are fairly simple, and a third that is somewhat challenging. Users of WGC are encouraged to make use of these examples as training aides.
NAIF also provides a summary of some of the most common problems and errors encountered by early users. These are found towards the end of the WebGeocalc Tutorial mentioned near the top of this page.