Pow Region Manipulation


POW provides the user with the ability to create and edit standard region files through the Region File menu item under POW's Tools menu. The Region File dialog window consists of a list of regions available for manipulation; a set of buttons and an entry box which are used to modify the currently selected region; and, at the bottom, buttons which open/save regions in a file and delete all the regions. Region types supported are Box, Circle, Ellipse, Polygon, Line, and Point.

Creating Regions

When the region dialog box is open, a new region can be created by placing the mouse at the desired location in the graph and click-and-drag with the left mouse button down (Command-Click on Mac OS). The shape of the region created is determined by the current shape button in the dialog box. For Circles, and Ellipses, the initial mouse location will be the center of the region and the final location its radius or width and/or height, as appropriate. For Boxes, the mouse movement traces out opposite corners of the rectangle. For Polygons and Lines, the mouse movement locations define the start and end of a line segment. To add extra segments to the Polygon, let up on the mouse button then press it again, without moving, then drag out the next side of the polygon, repeating as necessary. For a Point shape, the final mouse position defines its location. When the mouse button is released, the new region is appended to the list of available regions and made the current region.

Current Region and Manipulation

The current region is the one highlighted in the dialog's list of regions and "tagged" on the graph (see below). Upon selection (clicking the left mouse button on a region in the list or on the graph itself) or creation, the definition of the current region is placed in the current region portion of the dialog box.

A region consists of 3 parts: a sign indicating whether it defines a region to be added (source) or subtracted (background) from the data (these are indicated on the graph with blue or red region outlines, respectively); a shape; and the parameters defining its location, size, and possible rotation. The sign and shape of the current region are represented by a pair of buttons. The sign button toggles between "+" and "-" and the shape button brings up a popup menu of the 6 available shapes to choose from. The region parameters are placed in a final text entry box and can be modified by hand. When changing shapes, POW does its best to translate the current parameters into appropriate values and format for the new shape. For example, in going from a circle to polygon, the parameters change from a circle's (X,Y,R) format to a list of points tracing out the circle's outline. Changing the current region information in the dialog box does not actually affect the current region until the Apply button is pressed. Prior to pressing Apply, the region information can be restored by reselecting the current region. (Note: the values initially placed in the entry box are rounded off after 6 significant digits, so pressing Apply may result in minor changes in the shape's size and location even though the values were not modified.)

Although the sign and shape of a region can only be modified via the dialog box, the location, size, and rotation of regions can be changed either in the dialog box (yuck!) or through direct manipulation of the region on the graph with the mouse. The current region is "tagged" with 2 types of handles: a rotation handle (green triangle) and one or more resize handles (green squares). Circles, Polygons, and Lines cannot be rotated, so they have only one or more (as appropriate) resize handles. Boxes and Ellipses have one of each type, but Points have neither. A shape is rotated or resized (for Polygons and Lines, it is more a matter of repositioning points) by clicking the relevant handle with the left mouse button and dragging it to a new location. When the mouse cursor is over one of the handles, the cursor changes to a double-arrow, indicating that point can be dragged. When the mouse button is released the dialog's list of regions and current region information are updated with the new information. On the polygon, to drag a vertex, use Shife-Left Mouse button to drag the intended vertex to new location.

To move a region, simply click the left mouse button inside the region and drag it to the new location. Because clicking on a region makes it the current region, moving a region can be performed on any region, not just the current one. When inside a region, the cursor changes to a 4-sided arrow and the region's outline thickens. The current region can also be moved via the keyboard. When the POW window is in the foreground, shift-arrow will move the current shape one screen pixel in the arrow's direction. Control-arrow moves the shape 10 pixels.

Polygons can be modified in two additional ways. Points can be deleted by dragging a point onto one of its adjacent points. A point can also be inserted by clicking and dragging one of the handles with the left mouse button (Command-Click on Mac OS). This inserts the new point before the one clicked. If this is incorrect, immediately drag the new point back onto the first to delete it (no need to release the mouse button) and then click and drag on the next point. Vertex can be dragged by click and drag with right mouse button.

The Delete button in the Region dialog deletes the current region, and the next region in the list (or previous region if deleting the last region) becomes the current region. All the regions can be deleted with the Clear All button.

Coordinate Systems

Region parameters can be displayed in one of several formats selectable by a popup menu just below the list of regions in the Region dialog. The first is Image format wherein positions and size parameters are reported in the pixel coordinates of the image. If the image has a linear scaling, the Linear format will report coordinates in this scaled coordinate system instead of pixels. If WCS information is available for the graph, region parameters can be displayed in celestial coordinates as degrees. The formats FK4, FK5, Galactic, Ecliptic, and ICRS each report region positions and sizes as degrees, but POW currently does not convert between these formats; the user must specify the appropriate system which will then be written to the region file when saved. Finally, the Degrees format signifies a mixed style used by SAOtng wherein positions are in degrees, but sizes are in pixels.

The final 2 elements of the popup menu select the formatting to use when displaying degree values. Decimal Degrees format shows values as ordinary decimals with RA ranging over 0-360 and Declination over -90 to +90. HHMMSS Degrees instead displays decimals in hour:minute:second format.

Statistics Calculation

3 entries indicate the statistics of a region selected (or combine of regions). The statistics include number of pixel enclosed, total flux and mean flux in the region(s).

For statistic of 2 or more regions on the image, number of pixels is determined by several factors, such as if a region intersects with one another, the sign of region (+: include, -: exclude). Pow calls CFITSIO routine and pass the region(s) descriptions to determine if a given pixel is part of the ROI (region of interests). And if so, that pixel's value is been recorded to be part of calculation of total flux and mean flux of the ROI.

Saving/Opening Region Files

At the bottom of the Region dialog are a pair of Open and Save buttons which will read and write region files in the standard format, compatible with SAOtng. If regions already exist when opening a region file, the user will have the option of deleting the old regions or appending the new ones to the list. When saving regions, the parameters will be written in the coordinate system currently selected in the Region dialog.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 01-Aug-2006 14:44:00 EDT