IVOA Roadmap for 2016A

This outlines the roadmap for development activities by the various IVOA working and interest groups in 2016 between the Cape Town and Trieste Interops.


  • HiPS 1.0 WD
    • Promote HiPS IVOA note as a Working draft
    • Study capability entries in the registry associated to HiPS
  • VOTable
    • Awaiting DM WG proposal about VO-DML serialization

Data Access Layer

  • TAP-1.1
    • WD published on April 28th 2016.
    • waiting for DALI PR to go to PR.

  • TAPRegExt-1.1
    • WD ready since November 2015
    • Recommendation track will reflect the TAP-1.1 one
    • Registry WG effort

  • ADQL-2.1
    • WD published on May the 2nd 2016.
    • Waiting for DALI PR to go to PR.
    • ancillary wiki pages to promote DBMS back end support

  • SimDAL-1.0
    • Reference implementations
    • PR since August 24th 2016. RFC comments

  • VTP-1.0
    • PR published on May the 6th 2016. Lack of RFC comments

  • SIAV-2.0
    • Became a recommendation on december 23rd 2015. New implementations came out or are in preaparation

  • SODA-1.0
    • PR rewritten by editors and authors published Septembre 19th 2016. RFC start before TRieste

  • DALI-1.1
    • new WD published on April 15th 2016. Maturity close to PR. Xtypes discussions

Data Model

Addressing RFC comments, final update expected by end of June. Should be ready for TCG approval by end of July.

VODML-1.0: Cape Town discussions indicate the document is PR ready once a 'How To Get Started' style help document is completed. This document is scheduled for completion by end of June. PR period should start in July. Target REC by Trieste.

STC-2.0: WD feedback is strongly on the side of needing to split the model to a core package with secondary extensions for higher level packages (like Region and Area). Project scope to be reviewed Jun/Jul, with support of Dataset/NDCube models to be the focus. Need to schedule an external review panel to evaluate model and provide recommendations.

DatasetMetadata-1.0: Model is stable, with user implementations/serializations in both VODML Mapping and utype conventions. Focus will be on organizing external interoperable usage of the model in a SIAV2 thead. Target is REC ready by Trieste.

NDCube-1.0: Similar to DatasetMetadata, working draft is stable. User implementations to be packaged and uploaded to twiki. Focus will be on organizing external interoperable usage of the model in a SIAV2 thread. Target is REC ready by Trieste.

Provenance-1.0: The Dataset/Observation/Provenance models are coming toward a common framework. For Trieste, the goals will be to:
a) fanalize the vodml-compliant data model so that it works with only minor modifications for all our use cases.
b) deliver working draft model document; including minimum requirements; serialization strategy; and access to Provenance data.
c) work relations between SimDM and ProvDM

SourceDM-1.0: Team is to organize project goals and scope, summarized to twiki pages. Project should broaden use-case example set beyond Gaia. At present, there is no tageted status for Trieste.

Grid and Web Sevices

Single Sign-On Profile (SSO) 2.0: Minor updates to are needed on the PR to address feedback received in Cape Town. Specifically, a few more authentication types (authTypes) and their identifiers need to be mentioned and standardized. There should be a mention of the use of "groups" for authorization in the document.

It was mentioned that an IVOA note with examples on how to use the various authMethods described in the SSO 2.0 specification would be useful.

VOSpace 2.1: Feedback continues to come in from the authors. Once these has been addressed the document will go through the six-week review period before becoming a proposed recommendation.

VO Support Interfaces (VOSI) 1.1: Minor changes to be made before this can be made a recommendation. These should be addressed before the meeting in Trieste.

UWS 1.1: The document has been sent to the TCG chairs to executive review.

The GWS working group is encouraging groups to publish interoperable implementations of the various standards.

As per the recommendations from the Focus Sessions held in Cape Town, the GWS working group will work with the Knowledge Discovery Interest Group to examine use cases, technologies, and possible standards in regards to the question of "code to data".


VOResource 1.1: A large number of minor issues are being fixed in this first overhaul of VOResource in 10 years. The main new feature is a capability to represent alternative identifiers (DOIs, ORCIDs, etc). Until Trieste, we want to reach consensus on the remaining open questions, with implementations, also in RegTAP following after Trieste.

SimpleDALRegExt 1.1: The adaption of SimpleDALRegExt to new DAL protocols (in particular SIAP 2.0) should see PR soon and should be ready for REC by Trieste.

Registry Interfaces 1.1: RFC soon [Theresa?]

TAPRegExt 1.1: This will be kept in lockstep to the progress of the TAP/ADQL updates.

Registering TAP tables: We are encouraging takeup of the Discovering Data Collections Note. Until Trieste, we in particular hope for more feedback from the CDS. Since they would like to link tables and (cone search) services, there is a (weak) link with VOResource 1.1. We believe such links could be done based on record-local tags.

Spatial searches in the Registry: We will continue to lay the software foundations in pgSphere (i.e., indexable MOCs). The existing footprintURL mechanism to distribute footprints will be good enough for prototyping.

Standards records: We would like to finally have StandardsRegExt records for all IVOA recommendation, and we will work with the WG chairs to have them generated. A page at http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/WriteAStandardsRecord has been set up to guide standards authors.

We will continue maintenance of the Registry system and contents, as well as our validation operations.


Vocabularies / Thesauri / Ontologies

In continuation of previous roadmap:

Coordinate and/or influence the development of knowledge bases which support IVOA standards and curation initiatives, in particular

  • The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT)
  • Taxonomy of Facilities / Telescopes / Instruments
  • UCDs : update for a better coverage on Planetary data, revise assignation tools accordingly
Addressing the semantics needs in colllaboration to other WGs:
  • Provide support for externalizing controlled list and vocabularies to be used in IVOA standards (e.g VOResource, DataLink)
  • Reach consensus and document process through which Vocabularies are curated and published

Liaise with DC&P

Provide a forum for the joint discussion of standards development outside of the IVOA which influence curation and preservation activities, in particular:

Data Curation & Preservation

The IVOA Data Curation and Preservation Interest Group continues to be the place to discuss topics such as data citation, DOIs, Certification, and to pass information about the activities of the Research Data Alliance relevant to the astronomical community.


The Education interest group is working on a repository for documents related to education together with its implications for the Registry. On a different line, the Education interest group is considering the possible benefits for the public of citizen science projects, in particular their use as pedagogical projects aimed at the discovery of astronomy in classrooms.

Knowledge Discovery in Databases

The Knowledge Discovery group keeps on working on redefining its charta. Main questions for 2016 are:

  • how to ensure a simple data access required for machine learning algorithms -> HiPS as a possible access tool for spacially structured data
  • how to deal with structural/infrastructural challenges when storing and exchanging code
  • how to standardize the execution of code close to the data
  • how to provide explorative support and data visualization
  • perhaps, providing a registry of codes and tools?


Provide feedback on the operational implementation of VO standards including the level to which operational implementations pass validation services. Work to promote the development and use of validation services for VO standards. Continue to work to unify the reporting of validation errors.


SimDAL 1.0

  • RFC process.

Time Domain

Immediately following the Stellenbosch InterOp, VOEvent Transport Protocol 2.0 moved to RFC. We expect to devote the bulk of effort in this period to responding comments and, hopefully, pushing VTP towards full recommendation status.

Based on discussions at Stellenbosch, we will continue informally exploring prospects for time series representation within the VO.

We will seek to engage with the large facilities represented at the Stellenbosh "focus sessions", and explore how we can best help address their needs. As and when the promised (Ciardi's talk) LSSTC funded alert system study takes place, we will actively engage with this effort.

Standard and Processes

An update of the IVOA Standard Documents, initially proposed a V1.2, is now discussed a V2.0. It implements the Endorsed Note path and Errata for IVOA documents. The evolution was discussed in Stelleboch in the TCG meeting. RFC before Trieste meeting with the aim to conclude the new version before the end of the year.

Science Priorities

Following the May 2016 focus sessions on “Interoperability of data from major astronomy projects” the CSP plans to collect more structured feedback from large projects in the form of a survey. The priority areas remain Multi-dimensional data and Time domain astronomy. The final stages of the development of standards to meet the minimal requirements for multi-d data access are to be followed closely, and their completion will be an important milestone.


Topic revision: r17 - 2018-06-20 - GiuliaIafrate
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