The capabilities of GAIA fall roughly into three areas; those of an image and cube display tool, those provided for the analysis of images and cubes amd those for querying on-line resources (images and catalogue data held in the VO and other places). Each of these areas is described very briefly in the next sections. As with most graphical tools, probably the best way to find out about GAIA is to explore it interactively. Failing that many windows have a one-page description in the on-line help system and most graphical elements (buttons, entry fields etc.) have one-line descriptions that appear in the short-help region at the bottom of windows.
Windows that provide a limited range of controls for some kind of
focussed task are called `toolboxes'. In general what they do should
be obvious or they are really front-ends for other software
packages. Good examples of this latter type are the photometry and
object detection toolboxes. When such a toolbox is used the
documentation for the command-line tools is the primary source for
finding out what is going on under the bonnet.
GAIA -- Graphical Astronomy and Image Analysis Tool