IVOA Roadmap for 2013A

This outlines the roadmap for development activities by the various IVOA working and interest groups in 2013 between the Heidelberg and Hawaii Interops.


  • VOTable 1.3:
    • Mar 2013: PR: VOTable-1.3-PR-20130315
    • May 2013: TCG review (ends 29 May 2013); no major disagreements at RFC stage
    • Sep 2013: REC.
  • MOC 1.0:
    • Feb 2013: first WD (internal)
    • Mar 2013: Revised WD: MOC-1.0-WD-20130314
    • May 2013: Discussed at Heidelberg Interop in joint Apps/Registry session
    • Sep 2013: Revised WD: MOC-1.0-WD-20130910
    • Sep 2013: Discuss implementation experience at Hawaii Interop
    • Fall 2013: PR?
    • Early 2014: REC?

Data Access Layer

  • DALI-1.0:
    • May 22, 2013: revised PR document after RFC period
    • TCG review: May 24 - June 24, 2013
    • Recommendation: summer 2013
  • DataLink-1.0
    • WD in June 2013
    • WG review July 2013
    • PR document: August 2013
    • RFC period August - September 2013
    • TCG review: October 2013
    • Recommendation: late 2013
  • STC-S-1.0
    • WD in July 2013
    • implementations before Hawaii Interop
    • WG review October 2013
    • PR document: October 2013
    • RFC period: November 2013
    • TCG review: January 2014
    • Recommendation: March 2014
  • TSA-1.0 -- small standard that re-uses SSA-1.1 with the time series DM produced by DM-WG (presumably SimpleTimeSeriesDM)
    • WD: TBD
    • WG review:
    • RFC period:
    • TCG review:
    • Recommendation: April 2014
In order to deliver useful functionality for data cube access in a short timescale, with incremental improvements over the next year, DAL will develop a series of much smaller components that will be the capablities delivered by web services (RESTful web services followng the DALI recommendations). These capabilities are, in order of priority (with relevant standard listed where they are known already):
  • discovery of data cubes: TAP + ObsCore
  • download of complete data cubes: DataLink
  • extract subsection of cube using astronomical coordinates (STC-S)
  • flattening along one or more axes (sum or avg)
  • rebinning along one or more axes
  • precision pixel-level access
In addition to the access capabilities above, we also anticipate a parameter-based queryData capability should be defined although there are no user-specified use cases at this level of detail. Additional standards (e.g. ImageDM, PQL) may also be required at some point and may be developed by DAL or ther WGs.


Data Model

PhotDMv1-1 1.0

TCG review started on July 2012.

Work stopped due to coupling with utypes Tiger Team work as PhotDMv1-1 was intended to be in line with utypes recommendation. Process of adaptation to the ongoing discussions within Tiger Team.

It is decided (12/05/2013 TCG meeting) to decouple both activities, update PhotDMv1-1 with the comments obtained during TCG review and encourage TCG members to comment on it (to be done before the end of Spring 2013 interop)

PhotDMv1-1 will be adapted for 2013 Autumn interop following VO-DML approach

Spectral DM 2.0

"Trying to be final" version released to the working group in March 2013. No major comments received. To be presented to WG during Spring 2013 interop. Implementation pending to formally start RFC process

Characterization DM 2.0

Stable version released to the working group in September 2012. No major comments received. Implementation to be presented during Spring 2013 interop. Waiting green-light to start RFC process

Image DM

Draft to be presented during Spring 2013 interop. Wider list of authors to be identified


Draft to be presented during Spring 2013 interop. Prototypes and comments to be received between Spring and Autumn 2013 interops

Grid and Web Sevices

* PDL:

    • May 2012: first WD: PDL-0.1-WD-20120516
    • May 2013: revised WD in 1.0 and status discussion in Heidelberg GWS session 1
    • Summer 2013: PR ?
    • Fall 2013: REC?


SimpleDALRegExt 1.0

SimpleDALRegExt is currently in the TCG review. The RWG has incorporated several comments and feedback from the RFC period into the latest version and is still soliciting inputs from the TCG members. The official TCG review period was scheduled to complete January 2013, yet has been extended to collect all the working group inputs through the time of this roadmap draft. The RWG anticipates completion of the TCG review and discussion at the May interop meeting to finalize draft recommendation to the Exec for REC approval.

StandardsRegExt 1.0

Following the standard nomenclature for Registry Extension standard, the StandardsRegExt has become a REC. IVOA standards will be instantiated in this registry extension metadata format and populated in the Registry of Registries central repository as reference implementations.


In the context of VOEvent 2.0, a working draft of the VOEventRegExt was distributed to the RWG for comments and feedback on the standard description. This registry extension will provide VOEvent server and stream discovery. Further work is required to define the capability metadata for this new extension.

Registry Interface and RegTAP

The RegistryInterface (RI) 2.0 working draft has been distributed to the RWG for review. This standard is an technology upgrade from the previous version to include REST web interface for the registry search API. The RWG has agreed to replace the current RI 1.0 SOAP web based protocol using a TAP based service and support a simple registry resource model interface with specifications still in development. This standard is a high priority topic of discussion for the 2013 interoperability meetings with direct impact to IVOA science application tool development that has registry interface dependency.

An underlying Registry relational data model, RegTAP, has been developed which describes the core registry metadata to be exchanged using the RI 2.0 standard interface. This document is in circulation as a RWG working draft.

Other Registry Development

The Registry WG continues to drive regular discussions during Interoperability meetings about IVOA Registries operations, including curation of VO Resources and validation of DAL services. The Registry WG is pending effort to develop a coordinated plan accepted by TCG and proposed to the Exec for developing the procedures and processes of curating nonresponsive or non-valid registered DAL services. This also includes consistency in Registry managed authorities and harvested resource metadata across the IVOA registry network.

-- GretchenGreene - 19 March 2013


The Semantics WG is participating in ongoing thesaurus/vocabulary efforts in collaboration with the DCP and Theory groups.

The WG will continue to contribute to other WGs and IGs as appropriate.

Data Curation & Preservation

The IG will continue discussions on general topics of interest to the community. Some of the topics we expect to focus on during the next 12 months include:

  • The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus
    • Review of current effort described online at http://astrothesaurus.org
    • Participation of IVOA members in merging / mapping similar vocabularies (e.g. the Paris Observatory's Etymological Dictionary: http://dictionary.obspm.fr/)
    • Drafting editors to support the development and review of the thesaurus
  • The Research Data Alliance
    • Follow developments of the RDA: http://rd-alliance.org/
    • Participate in working groups on persistent identifiers and data citation
-- AlbertoAccomazzi - 2013-03-19

Knowledge Discovery in Databases


The main goal of the Theory I.G. is to propose an access protocol to discover and retrieve simulated data.

From last InterOp, several implementations have been tested. We also had a few teleconferences with some members of the Theory I.G.

Search for simulations

Some technical difficulties have been identified. The most important of them, is that, contrary to an observationnal data, a simulated data may require several thousands quantities to be described in a way allowing us to answer our usecases. Because RDBMS are not efficient with tables with more than thousands columns, the access protocol for theoretical data should not rely on specific technologies (as TAP/RDBMS). During the second Theory session in Heidelberg InterOp we will discuss this important topic. A possible solution, would be to define a few APIs with a main one, the SEARCH/CUTOUT function, to discover interesting simulations. The query language would be a subset of ADQL. On the other hand, the exchange format will have to be defined. We will discuss the oportunity to use the serialization of SimDM in VO-Tables following the proposal of the utype tiger team.

Extraction of data

Concerning the extraction of data, the situation is more simple. Services will provide a Datalink document to describe the possible operations on data. This will be presented and discussed in the common DAL / Theory session about datalink.

Goals of this InterOp for the Theory I.G. are : 1) conclude on a solution to discover simulations that is independent on the technology used to store metadata, 2) define the large picture about the exchange format document in the communication client / server during the search phase of simulations, 3) advance on the syntax of datalink document.


The newly formed Edu IG is planning to discuss its Roadmap during the Heidelberg 2013 Interop. The basis for the discussion are the Terms of Reference that can be read in the IG's web page together with the Rationale. At the Heidelberg Interop, the Edu IG will have both a morning and an afternoon session on Thursday May 16. At least one of the two sessions will be devoted to discussions of the Roadmap and its implementation. Contributions from anybody interested will be most welcome.

-- MassimoRamellaINAF - 2013-03-25

Time Domain

The newly formed TDIG is working on a note endorsing SimpleTimeSeries as an IVOA-approved format for time series data and also waiting for feedback from the Registry WG on VOEventRegExt (see above). We anticipate participation in the multi-dimensional data discussions. We will issue an update note covering the VOEvent Transport Protocol, and then push that towwards becoming an IVOA-approved standard.

-- MatthewGraham - 2013-05-09

-- JohnSwinbank - 2013-06-01

Standard and Processes

No evolution of the standards forseen in 2013.

Science Priorities

Science priority areas are: Multi-dimensional data, and Time Domain Astronomy. Focus sessions at the May 2013 interop meeting will engage projects and surveys that produce and use multi-dimensional data (including radio astronomy, IFU, high energy and simulation data) and Time Domain data (time series, light curves, transient event reports) in a discussion on the role of VO technologies in these areas. Multi-d and Time Series use cases are being collected as part of this effort.

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