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Hints & Tips:

I have gone to great lengths to ensure that the Star Catching Website as intuitive as possible. Where I thought it necessary, I've added legends to assist you with some of the more robust features available on the Website. Just look for the "View Legend" link on the map, tree, statistics and gallery pages for a quick reference.

Make sure to visit the Star Catching About page and Frequently Asked Questions page if you have questions about meteorites, impactities or the Star Catching collection.



Star Catching Website requirements


The Star Catching site is an HTML based Website that requires JavaScript. I've tested the site on the popular browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera.) If you have the latest versions of these browsers, the website should work fine.

Flash Notice for Apple Users:
If you are using an iPad, iTouch or iPhone, you will not see all of the intended functionality of the site, but it will still work for your platform. The map browsing feature (described below) is the only Flash based application, so you will only see a simplified clickable world map if you are using one of those Apple platforms.

Accessing Star Catching with Mobile Devices:
Recently, I have added a few changes to simplify the rendering of the site pages for portable devices, such as smart phones. The "pinch and zoom" features of some portable devices tend to play havoc with the layered background graphics. When a smart phone browser is detected, these graphical elements are turned off to improve the look and feel of the site. I will continue to tweak the interface for those devices until I create a separate mobile version of the Star Catching Website. Note: Even though the site looks a little different on those devices, no functionality is lost.


How to use the Browse by Location Maps

The maps for browsing impactites by location and meteorites by location are my favorite features of the Star Catching site. While it is not necessary to use the map to see the collection, it is a snazzy graphical interface to view the plotted specimen locations on the world map.
At the bottom of the map you will see series of links. Selecting the "VIEW LEGEND," link will show help text regarding features of the map interface.
  • Navigating the world map:
    You can click on any of the red dots on the map to go directly to a specimen. For a closer view of any region on the world map, you can zoom into an area by clicking a country or dragging your mouse to select a custom region. While zoomed into any section of the map, you can move your cursor to the edge of the map (N, S, E or W) and see an arrow -- Click and hold to shift the map in the direction of the arrow.
     
  • Viewing specimens by continent:
    If you click any of the continent names at the bottom of the map (NORTH AMERICA, SOUTH AMERICA, EUROPE, AFRICA, ASIA, OCEANIA or ALL CONTINENTS) a list will appear below the map with links to specimens from that continent.
     
  • Listing Featured Specimens:
    Selecting the "FEATURED SPECIMENS" link will show a summary of what I think are the best specimens in my collection from around the world.
Note: This is a Flash application and may not be available on some Apple browsing platforms.


How to use the Browse by Category Trees

If you are accustomed to using a tree-based interface for viewing the files and directories on your personal computer, using the browse impactites by category and meteorites by category should be very easy to navigate.
At the bottom of the map you will see series of links. Selecting the "VIEW LEGEND," link will show help text regarding features of the map interface.
  • Open & Close a Category:
    Clicking on the '+' sign, '-' sign or category name will open and close the selected category. Once a category is opened, you will see the available collection lists, signified by the bullet icon.
     
  • Viewing category collection lists:
    While opening categories, you will see the available collection lists signified by a bullet icon. Clicking these links will show a list of available specimens to the right of your tree view. The experience is almost exactly like selecting folders on your computer to show available files.
     
  • Additional Specimen Categories:
    Special categories have been added to view "FEATURED SPECIMENS" and any specimens that are "AVAILABLE FOR TRADE." Selecting these links will list available collection lists. These special categories work exactly like the open & close category folders above.


How to view the collection statistics charts

Selecting "VIEW STATISTICS" on the collection page for meteorites and impactities will display a summary chart specimens on the Star Catching Website. Separate data points are shown for stone, iron, stoney iron, tektites and other impactites.
At the bottom of the map you will see series of links. Selecting the "VIEW LEGEND," link will show help text regarding features of the chart interface.
  • Viewing data point values:
    Simply mouse-over the chart sections to view the associated data point values for that bar or pie wedge.
     
  • Removing categories from the chart:
    You can click on any of the category names (Stoney Irons, Irons, Stones, Tektites or Impactites) to toggle data sets on and off. For example, if you want to remove Irons from the bar and pie charts for the meteorite collection statistics, click the word "Irons" at the top of the chart. Click it again to restore the data set.
     
  • Viewing statistics by continent:
    If you click any of the continent names at the bottom of the map (NORTH AMERICA, SOUTH AMERICA, EUROPE, AFRICA, ASIA, OCEANIA or ALL CONTINENTS) the chart will be redrawn with the data for the selected continent. When viewing a specific continent, new data points are shown for total specimens, distinct locations, finds and falls. Note: finds and falls are only shown for meteorites, not for impactities...
     


How to see a simple listing of specimens

If you would prefer to see a simple world-wide listing of the Star Catching collection specimens, select the VIEW FULL LIST link for either meteorites or impactites section of the Collection page. The displayed list will be broken down by stone, iron, stoney iron, tektites, other impactites and featured specimens.


Features of the specimen pages

Highslide JS
Screen capture of the Sikhote-Alin specimen page. Word balloons have been added to detail the features of the specimen page.
Annotated Specimen Page
The specimen collection pages are the backbone of the Star Catching Website. Each specimen in the collection is represented on these pages. If I have more than one specimen for a given location, each specimen will be listed on the page with it's own title, picture(s) and caption. I have also added links to external resources, such as the Meteoritical Society listing and Google Maps satellite views, to improve the educational value of the site.
  • Meteoritical Society Link:
    This feature is only available on the meteorite specimen pages. If you click the name of the meteorite at the top of the page, you will be taken to the official listing page on the Meteoritical Society Website.
     
  • Google Maps Satellite Link:
    Each specimen in the collection is related to a specific coordinate or region on the globe. Many times, these coordinates are included in the Meteoritical Society listing page. If you click the coordinate link in the upper right hand corner of the page, you will see a satellite view of the location plotted on Google Maps. Note: Some specimens only have general location information, so the plotted point is only as good as the coordinate in the source data.
     
  • Multiple Specimen Images:
    If a specimen has more than one available photo, links to the numbered images will be available on the top right corner of the specimen image. You can click the image number link, or simply click the image itself to go to the next available image. Clicking the last image in the series will take you back to the first image.
     
  • Multiple Specimens:
    When I have more than one specimen in my collection for a given location, each image will be listed on the specimen page with its own title, picture(s) and caption.
     
Hint: As you are viewing a specimen collection pages, you can use the available quick-links to go to the related meteoritic society bulletin, or to Google Maps coordinates.


Viewing the slideshow in the Photo Gallery

The Start Catching Photo Gallery allows you to view a collection of photos related to my meteorite and impactite hobby. The gallery is a popup control that has a sliding thumbnail viewer, back and forward controls, a slide show feature, and in many cases the ability to zoom out to a higher resolution version of the displayed photo. To get started, just click the main image on the page.
  • Audio controls:
    The gallery has a standard audio control on the bottom of the page. It is a setup for a looped continuous playback, so if you want to turn off the music, click the pause and volume controls in the audio playback bar.
     
  • Thumbnail Viewer:
    After clicking the main image, the popup gallery control shows a full sized version of the current image with a text caption below the image. At the top of the control you will see a bar of thumbnails. You can click individual thumbnails or use the left and right arrow keys to slide the thumbnail bar.
     
  • Gallery Controls:
    When you mouse-over the main image, you will see a gallery control bar appear at the bottom of the image. Clicking the icons in the bar to control the gallery. The controls, from left to right, are: previous image, play slideshow, next image, click and drag popup window, expand to full size, and close window.
     
Note: To close the gallery, you can click the "X" close button in the gallery control, click the image, or click anywhere outside of the image on your browser window or desktop.


Reporting problems with the Website

If you come across any errors while browsing the Star Catching Website, or problems viewing the pages with your Web browser, please contact me. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about the error you found so that I can address the issue promptly.

Details that will help me resolve the problem:
  • Let me know the steps I need to take to reproduce the error you experienced.
  • Provide the exact text of any error messages you receive.
  • If you can take a screen-shot of the issue, you can send it to me as email attachments.
  • Include the versions of the operating system and browser you were using when you encountered the error.




Please feel free to Contact Me with any questions!