IVOA Executive Committee Meetings (FM46 and FM46S)

Sunday October 21 @ 16:00 - 18:00

Argentina Room in the Tryp Itaim Hotel. Address: Rua Manuel Guedes, 320

[Supplementary Meeting: Wednesday October 24 @ 12:30 - 14:00, room 15 Administration building]


Agenda FM46

  1. Roll Call and Agenda (MA)
  2. Minutes of TM45
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Project Reports - Significant Events Only
  5. Report of the TCG status (SG)
  6. WG Reports
  7. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  8. Proposal for IVOA Interest Group on Education and Outreach
  9. Future of IVOA
  10. AOB
  11. Summary of Actions (MA)

Agenda FM46S

  1. Proposal for IVOA Interest Group on Education and Outreach (Massimo Ramella invited)
  2. Proposal for South Africa membership in IVOA
  3. Science Priority Areas (MA)
  4. Time Domain Astronomy - VOEvent WG transition to Time Domain Interest Group
  5. KDD IG chair
  6. Interop CSP session tomorrow - Future of IVOA
  7. Future Interop meetings
  8. IVOA membership of WDS
  9. Date of next telecon meeting
  10. AOB
  11. Summary of Actions (MA)

Reports from the Projects

Argentina - NOVA

NOVA is installing and uploading data in some of institutions. A set of data from the VVV survey will be uploaded in the following months. The scanning of 'historical data' is still one of the aims of NOVA but there are many different opinions about how this should be done and no data has been so far produced.

At begining of next year, a 'master' talk will be given simultaneously in different institutions to motivate researchers to upload their data and to use VO.

NOVA is planning a two days workshop on VO techniques for June 2013.








Euro-VO International Collaboration Empowerment (EuroVO-ICE, http://www.eurovo-ice.eu), a small Collaborative Action funded by the European Commission from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2012, successfully passed its final review on 17 October 2012.

The next step for Euro-VO is the CoSADIE project, Collaborative and Sustainable Astronomical Data Infrastructure for Europe (http://www.cosadie.eu), which started on 1 September 2012, again for two years. CoSADIE is centred on the development of strategies and coordination structures, through a feasibility study for a sustainable European Virtual Observatory giving access to the open, highly diverse, highly distributed data holdings of astronomy. It also aims at disseminating results among and gathering requirements from the scientific community (users) and the data providers. It will continue to co-ordinate European technical activities, and includes the promotion and monitoring of international standards, and their adoption through the International Virtual Observatory Alliance IVOA. Co-operation and interface with the grid and cloud will also be assessed. Specific care will be taken to consolidate the high impact VObs outreach activities towards education and the general public. CoSADIE is led by CDS/CNRS, and the other partners are INAF (Italy), INTA (Spain), the University of Edinburgh (UK) and the University of Heidelberg (Germany), each partner representing a national VO project. ESA-VO is associated to the project. CoSADIE will organise a VO School and a Data Centre Forum, as well as a series of Europe-wide Technology Forums for the VO developers. The feasibility study will be performed in close collaboration with Astronet (http://www.astronet-eu.org), a European Network gathering nearly all Astronomy funding agencies, which develops a strategy for European astronomy.

Another aspect of activities is the rapid emergence of the Research Data Alliance, which is supported by the European Commission, NSF and Australia. The purpose of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) is to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research data sharing and exchange, use and re-use, standards harmonization, and discoverability. This will be achieved through the development and adoption of infrastructure, policy, practice, standards, and other deliverables. CDS participates in a European project called iCORDI which will act in support to RDA, and it is clear that astronomy has a lot to share in particular in terms of best practices in the RDA context. The RDA web site, still in construction, is at http://rd-alliance.org/.


ESA has finally managed to find some solution to the improvement of the Euro-VO Registry, which development had been put on hold for a few years, although operations and maintenance was still provided.

In the coming months, we will adapt the Euro-VO Registry to provide better support to TAP services, including registration and search for such services. In the medium term, we're about to initiate the contract to re-engineer more widely the Euro-VO Registry database and associated code to provide better services and easier maintenance.

VOSpec 6.5 was released early October, providing support to photometry. More details will be provided through the IVOA Newsletter as well.

France VO

France VO activities since October 2011

France VO held its "2011 meeting" on 16-17 January 2012 in Paris (the meeting had to be delayed because of the difficulty to find a meeting room for two days !). It gathered ~43 participants from 15 French laboratories from the Paris region, Besancon, Grenoble, Marseille, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Toulouse. Status reports on the astronomical and planetology VOs and on the Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC) were presented, as well as the activities in Theory, Grid and workflows, and Geodetics. Local VO activities, services and tools were also presented, and VO data model and data access layer activities were discussed. The programme and presentations can be found from http://www.france-ov.org/twiki/bin/view/ASOVFrance/ProgrammeASOV2012 (in French).

France VO continued to support travels to IVOA meetings, the organisation of workshops on focussed subjects and travels for collaborations at the regional level or between teams, as well as the organisation of workshops to support take-up by astronomers. A successful VO school on the scientific usage of VO tools has been organised in Grenoble on 30 November - 2 December 2011 (http://ipag.osug.fr/ov2011/spip.php?article1), with support of CDS staff. A plenary talk demonstrating science usage of the VO was also presented by C. Bot and T. Boch at the annual meeting of the French Astronomical Society, "Semaine de l'Astrophysique Francaise 2012" (5-8 June 2012, Nice).

Authors from French laboratories participated actively in the completion of SAMP 1.3, SSA 1.1, SimDM, Spectrum DM, ObsDM Core Components, in PhotDM, VOSpace 2.0 and Units, which are currently in RFC, and in the PDL Working Draft.


New data sets in our Heidelberg data center include the data cubes from CALIFA DR1, the guaranteed time spectra from FEROS and HEROS, neutrino observations from Amanda and IceCube, and the SPM4 proper motion catalog.

We have spent some time working with TAP service operators to repair what was broken when havesting their TAP_SCHEMAs . Thus, our Global TAP Schema now contains 118019 columns from 2793 tables (for comparison: the relational registry has 546759 columns from 28029 tables).

Our server software has, among other features, grown support for the SSAP getData operation as proposed in Urbana, as well as for SAMP-Web for our form-based services.

In standards, we're working on the relational registry (there's an internal working draft out for discussion in Sao Paulo), and the TAP implementation notes (a collection of proposals to fix and improve the TAP stack); significant work also went into contributing to and implementing the VOUnits draft, the utypes tiger team, and DALI.

Also, we've made a nice (if we may say so ourselves) ADQL reference card, see http://docs.g-vo.org/adqlref; we've already handed out quite a few of those at our annual booth at the conference of the Astronomische Gesellschaft.



Ukraine VO



RVO progress report (Oct 2012)

1. The database of Moscow astronomical plate collection and
maintenance of the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (INASAN and SAI
MSU, led by Nikolai Samus)

As mentioned in our 2011 report, because of its unprecedented large volume,
the 80th Name-List of Variable Stars, introducing new objects of the GCVS,
is being prepared in three parts. After the previous report, towards the end
of the year, Part 2 of the 80th Name-List (2161 stars, right ascensions
between 6h and 16h) was published. Part 3 (also about 2000 stars) will be
submitted before the end of 2012.

We have made considerable effort in analyzing future GCVS prospects and
necessary changes in our approaches to the project. Two talks on this subject
were delivered by N. Samus at the IAU General Assembly in Beijing.

Many dozens of corrections to the electronic GCVS have been introduced during
2012. We continued to provide the IAU Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams with
new GCVS names given to Novae immediately upon their discovery; however,
the response of the BAT has become extremely delayed, and we even do not know
exactly which of these designations have been actually announced by the CBAT.
Digitizing the Sternberg Institute plate collection has temporarily stopped,
the scanners need replacement that was not secured during 2012 due to
financial problems. However, we proceed with discoveries of new variable
stars using digitized plates. Two papers on discoveries in different
10 X 10 degree fields are close to the end of their preparation.

2. Working group "RVO data" (INASAN, led by Dana Kovaleva)

The pilot version of the Binary Star Database (BDB) - a revised and updated
result of evolution of the Besancon Double and Multiple Star Data Base -
soon will be available for the community at http://bdb.inasan.ru/ . The BDB
includes data on physical and astrometric parameters of binaries of various
types. The development of the BDB involved solution of problems of
cross-identification and of aggregation of various format data from
astronomical catalogues and databases. The report on BDB has been presented
at the XIV annual All-Russian conference on Digital Libraries (Program Systems
Institute of Russian Acad. Sci., October 15 to 18, 2012,

The scheme of the list of russian astronomical resources has been revised.
The update will be placed at the web pages of the RVO by the end of 2012.

3. Zvenigorod Scanlaboratory Group (INASAN, led by Sergei Vereshchagin)

Zvenigorod observatory keeps working on the project "The creation
of the electronic library of astronegatives received on Zvenigorod Astrograph".

The project: "The service of the electronic library of astronegatives received
on Zvenigorod Astrograph, add data, its reduction to a standard format and it
inclusion into WFPDB.

Telescope: Astrograph Carl Zeiss - 400/2000. It is established in Zvenigorod
in 1972. Focus=200 cm.

Plate parameters: Since 1972 about to 2005 was observed the 3703 negatives
and are fixed in log. Wide field equal 8.5 deg on 8.5 deg for as much as possible
for a large plate with size 30 on 30 cm. Such field of view allows to
photograph a long tails of comets, having them on a plate diagonal.

The information on work science groups, tools, volumes and characteristics
of glass library of the Zvenigorod observatory is presented on the INASAN
site http://www.inasan.ru/rus/scan/. The address of a site for viewing of
archive of photographic plates of the Zvenigorod Astrograph in a Data Base
in Bulgaria is http://draco.skyarchive.org/search/search.cgi. For the
project equipment A3 EPSON Expression 1640XL scanner used.

Now we continue a scanning and cataloging the plate images according to
requirements of the Data Center in Sofia (WFPDB).

Scanning of photographic plates of the Zvenigorod Astrograph: 250 negatives
in FITS, TIFF and JPG - formats are scanned in 2012. Now accessible more
than 1800 scans in total.

The scans was recorded on DVD, SOTA and USB disks by Panferova V. I.

The data of AFU camera films was added to WFPDB.
(http://wfpdb.org/search/ for the search to use the IDobs - "ZVN", IDins
- "021").

4. Publications

Kazarovets, E.V., Pastukhova, E.N., Samus, N.N., Bogdanova, E.M. New
Variables in Pegasus: How Can We Use WASP0 Data. Perem. Zvezdy, 2012, 32,
No. 4.

Kazarovets, E.V., Samus, N.N., Durlevich, O.V., et al. 2011, The 80th
Name-List of Variable Stars. Part II - RA 6h to 16h. Information Bulletin
on Variable Stars, No. 6008.

Samus, N.N., Antipin, S. Recent Space Missions and Ground-Base Surveys and
their Implication for Variable-Star Studies. In: 50 years of cosmic era:
real and virtual studies if the sky, proceedings of a conference of young
sciences of CIS countries, 21-25 November 2011, eds. A. Mikaelian,
O. Malkov, N. Samus, Yerevan: National Academy of Sciences, 2012, p. 39-47.

Kaygorodov, P.; Debray, B.; Kolesnikov, N.; Kovaleva, D.; Malkov, O.
The New Version of the Binary Star Database (bdb). Baltic Astronomy 2012,
v. 21, p. 309

Kaygorodov P.V., Malkov O.Yu, Kovaleva D.A. Binary Star Database (BDB).
In: Digital libraries XIV, 2012, in press.

Kovaleva D.A., Dluzhnevskaya O.B. Russian resources of astronomical data
to be integrated in the International Virtual Observatory. In: Digital
libraries XIII, 2011, Voronezh State University, p. 317-325. /
CEUR Workshop Proceedings: http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-803/paper22.pdf

S.V. Vereshchagin and N.V. Chupina, Digital archive of the Astrograph plates
stored at the INASAN Zvenigorod observatory, Baltic Astronomy, 2012, v. 21,
p. 366

Sergei V. Vereshchagin, Natalia V. Chupina, Valery P. Osipenko,
Olga B. Dluzhnevskaya and Milcho K. Tsvetkov The Zvenigorod astronomical
plate collection presented in the Wide-Field Plate DataBase. VII
Bulgarian-Serbian Astronomical Conference (VII BSAC), 1-4 June 2010,
Chepelare, Bulgaria, Proceedings of the VII Bulgarian-Serbian Astronomical
Conference, eds. Milcho K. Tsvetkov, Milan S. Dimitrijevic, Katya
Tsvetkova, Ognyan Kounchev and Zarko Mijajlovic, Publ. Astron. Soc.
"Rudjer Boskovic", No 11, 2012, 209-218

Olga B. Dluzhnevskaya, Sergei V. Vereshchagin, Natalia V. Chupina,
Valery P. Osipenko The INASAN Zvenigorod observatory plate collection.
VII Bulgarian-Serbian Astronomical Conference (VII BSAC), 1-4 June 2010,
Chepelare, Bulgaria, Proceedings of the VII Bulgarian-Serbian Astronomical
Conference, eds. Milcho K. Tsvetkov, Milan S. Dimitrijevic, Katya Tsvetkova,
Ognyan Kounchev and Zarko Mijajlovic, Publ. Astron. Soc. "Rudjer Boskovic",
No 11, 2012, 359-362

Catalogs in CDS:

Vereshchagin S.V., Chupina N.V. ORICAT Catalog of Stars in Orion Great
Nebula, 2011, CDS number J/AZh/88/143/oricat

Vereshchagin S.V., Chupina N.V. Stellar groups of Orion's Sword region,
2010, CDS number J/AZh/87/853/table2


(Since May 2012)

Manpower: 10 FTEs. The SVO Thematic Network (people from Spanish institutes with interest in the VO) is composed of almost 200 participants from more than 30 labs.

VO Archives:

VO Science:

- Red supergiants around the obscured open cluster Stephenson 2 (Negueruela et al.). Accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.3282v1.pdf)


- The citizen-science project "Identification of Near Earth Asteroids using VO tools" (http://www.laeff.cab.inta-csic.es/projects/near/main/?&newlang=eng) described in the Researchers' Night 2012 (in Spanish).


- VO talk and hands-on session in the Gaia GREAT-ITN School " The Art of Observational Campaigns"

- Summer school (25 hours) on technological advances and Astronomy (http://www.upct.es/contenido/cursosverano/cursos.php?id=270&cat=2; in Spanish)



Reports from WGs & IGs(follows order as at http://www.ivoa.net/forum/)

Applications WG

Data Access Layer WG

The final TAP-RegExt-1.0 document was published on August 27 after approval by the IVOA Exec in June.

The DALI-1.0 working draft was improved since the last interop; the last few issues will be addressed this week.

Data Models WG

Grid and Web Services Working Group

Registry WG

SimpleDALRegExt moving to TCG, wrapping up details to complete this step of the process

The main topic for discussion will be a draft proposal for Registry Interface V2.0 based on TAP resful approach. There are other approaches being considered to support Restful interfaces as well.

The IVOA documentation for How to Publish to the VO will have a link to Registry How To for publishing data collections. This is effort required to help the community end-user and needs to be elevated in priority.

Work continuing on the draft of Best Practices as a guideline for Registries in the IVOA for managing curation and resource exchange between the network of IVOA registries.

Semantics/UCD WG

  • Shared topics with other WG groups :
SKOS concepts : A current discussion is shared on the VOTable list on how to express SKOS concepts tags in VOTable serialisation. This will be discussed at Saopaulo meeting during the Applications sessions.

  • VOUnit proposed recommendation :
The document ended the RFC period with few comments. Most comments have been ansered . An updated version of the Proposed Rec Document is in preparation.

  • Liaison activities:
The IVOA Semantic working group was represented at the AstroInformatics Meeting in Redmond , Sept 2012 and advertised our VO semantic work.


VOTable WG

Data Curation and Preservation IG

Knowledge Discovery in Databases IG

Theory IG

  • SKOS in VO-Tables
As mentioned at last InterOp, Theory I.G. needs to be able to tag FIELDS in VO-Tables with SKOS concepts. Discussions on the VO-Table mailing list tends to conclude that the LINK tag may not be the most appropriate solution. The adoption of new tag as META suggested by Mark Taylor would fulfill Theory I.G. requirements.

Most efforts from last InterOp have been oriented toward the definition of SimDB and SimDAL. Discovery of Experiments / Datasets could be done at the SimDB level. Extraction of data, has to be done at the SimDAL level.

1) SimDB document will address publication of metadata describing protocols and experiments as well as discovery thanks to TAP (on the implementation of SimDM but also on pivoted tables)

2) SimDAL document will cover methods to extract simulated data (raw data).

Several teams of the Theory I.G. are trying some first implementations of SimDBs / SimDAL to test this.

  • Ontology of astronomical Objects
The first tests for implementations of SimDB highlighted the fact that the Ontology of Astronomical objects may not be precise enough to describe objects simulated in modern numerical simulations. This point will be discussed at this InterOp in the Semantics session.

Topic revision: r18 - 2012-10-30 - MarkAllen
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