IVOA Applications

Chair: Pierre Fernique
Vice Chair: Tom Donalson

Applications Working Group Charter

The IVOA Applications Working Group is concerned primarily with the software tools that Astronomers use to access VO data and services for doing Astronomy.

The VO is enabling new ways of doing Astronomy. Interoperability between Astronomy data, services and software empowers astronomers to combine these for scientific discovery and analysis. VO Applications may take many forms such as GUI desktop applications, software libraries, web interfaces to services, or other innovative 'portals' to the VO. Legacy Astronomy software is becoming VO enabled and new and novel VO applications are being created. The IVOA Applications Working Group provides a means for VO Applications development and implementation to be closely linked to the standards development in the IVOA, and where necessary to propose and develop standards for VO Applications to interoperate.

The role of the Applications Working Group is to:

  • Provide a forum for announcement and discussion of VO Applications
  • Provide feedback to IVOA on the implementation of interoperability standards in VO applications
  • Identify missing or desirable technical capabilities for VO applications
  • Identify missing or desirable components in terms of scientific usability
  • Propose and develop standards specific to VO Astronomy-user-Applications


The Applications Working Group is overseen by a chair and deputy chair approved by the IVOA executive. The chairs organise the interop meeting sessions, and fulfil the normal responsibilities of a WG chair for publishing proposed recommendations.

Standards proposed for development within the Applications Working Group are to be considered within the wider context of the IVOA, and care should be taken to interface appropriately with other working groups. Development of Applications Working Group standards is ideally done by small teams. These teams are required to make a mission plan and to report regularly to the group.

Mailing lists

Applications Working Group discussion forum (archive)
SAMP mailing list (archive)


IVOA standards defined within the Applications WG are:

Interop Meetings:

Applications sessions at Interop meeting will be organised for:

  • General discussion, announcement and demonstration of VO applications.
  • Technical development of interoperability standards for VO applications.
Sessions at previous and upcoming meetings, mostly with presentations attached, are listed here:


Applications (Please add new links by editing this page)

NVO Portal Services US National Virtual Observatory
DataScope Broadcast query
RVS Remote Visualization System
VOPlot - VOIndia A plotting software tool for visualizing astronomical data input in various tabular formats (such as VOTable, FITS etc)
TOPCAT Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables
STILTS Command-line tools for table/VOTable manipulation
Treeview A viewer for hierarchical structures
CDS Aladin Image and Catalogue tool
Bell Labs Mirage Multi-dimensional visualization of data from VOTable
CASSIS A tool to visualize and analyse VO compliant spectra through SSAP and VAMDC protocol
ESA VOSpec A tool to handle VO compliant spectra through SSAP
VOSED A tool for building Spectral Energy distributions
VODesktop A resource-centered desktop client for VO: includes VOExplorer, Query and Task Runner, Astroscope, Myspace Browser
VisIVO A Visualisation Interface to the Virtual Observatory
A list of Visualization Tools VOTech Project DS6 survey
A Study On Existing Tools VOTech Project
China VO VOFliter VOTable Filter for OpenOffice Calc
VOTable2XHTML XSLT Stylesheet for VOTable to HTML
SPLAT Spectral Analysis Tool
SAADA Auto-Configurable Database Generator
Octet CVO Observation Catalog Exploration Tool
NOAO NVO Portal NOAO Image Visualization Discovery Tool
VO-CLI Command-line Tools for the VO
AR Commandline Python commandline VO tools
VOStat - VOIndia A tool for statistical analysis of astronomical data
VOCat - VOIndia A catalog data interface tool
Mosaic Service - VOIndia SDSS, 2MASS & HST FITS Image Mosaic Service
Pymorph Service - VOIndia Web service for automated galaxy structural parameter estimation using PYTHON
VOIndia Portal A portal with gadgets specially designed for Astronomers. Acts as a single point of entry for all VOIndia web services.
VOConvert - VOIndia A tool for converting files from one format to another (ASCII to VOTable; FITS to VOTable; VOTable to ASCII)
uws-client A Python command line tool for interacting with uws-services (create, start, list, delete jobs)

Applications Infrastructure

Astro Runtime Middleware that makes it simple to call VO services from programs and science scripts
Common Execution Architecture (CEA) A methodology and toolkit for VO enabling legacy applications by publishing them as web services

Libraries and Parsers

JAVOT (CalTech) Java VOTable parser
SAVOT (CDS) Java VOTable parser
STIL Starlink Tables Infrastructure Library - Generic Java Table Handling for Astronomy
C++ Parser - VOIndia VOTable parser
VOTable Parser (Caltech/Spitzer Science Center) Java VOTable parser based XMLBeans
IDL VOlib Libraries for using VO services (requires IDL 6.+)
VORuby RUBY language libraries for using VO Services
CSharpFITS Package - VOIndia C# support for reading and writing FITS files

Protocols and Formats

IVOA Standards Documents
PLASTIC - PLatform for AStronomical Tool InterCommunication

Applications Standards Development


AIG report to IVOA Executive committee V0.1 (.doc) May 2004
Table 2 for AIG Report (.xls) May 2004
Querying heterogeneous datasets with Saada (.ppt) May 2006
Saada demo presented at BEIJING (.ppt) May 2007

Topic revision: r91 - 2016-04-28 - PierreFernique
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