IVOA Data Model Working Group


The role of the Data Modeling group is to provide a framework for the description of metadata attached to observed or simulated data.
The activity of the Data Model WG activity focuses on logical relationships between these metadata, examines how an astronomer wants to retrieve, process and interpret astronomical data, and provides an architecture to handle them. What is defined in this WG can then be re-used in the protocols defined by the DAL WG or in VO aware applications .


Membership of this working group is informal as people and projects come and go. To join see our page on How to participate

Virtual Progress Meetings

During the Covid period, periodic virtual progress meeting are proposed: Meeting Page




Here is a summary of the ongoing activities in the data modeling WG:

Overview / general presentations on the DM modeling effort

Here are general presentations you can re-use about the data modeling effort in the VO .

DataModels in the Virtual Observatory Framework

Active projects

Project State Errata
Provenance v1.0 WG page - RFC #1 - RFC #2 REC  
Cube v1.0 WD - pending STC2  
DatasetMetadata v1.0 WD - pending STC2  

Coords v1.0 RFC RFC2

Meas v1.0 RFC RFC2


Trans v1.0 RFC tbc WD  
Obscore 1.1 REC Errata
ObsLocTAP 1.0 RFC page REC  
PhotDM v1.1 RFC RFC  
VO Model Annotation Syntax MIVOT WD  
ProposalDM WD  

Idle or Inactive projects

Project State
UTYPEs discussion page Closed, VODML adopted
ImageDM v1.0 replaced by Dataset/Cube models
SedDM idle
TimeSeries replaced by Dataset/Cube models
Echelle Spectra replaced by Dataset/Cube models
SpectralDM v2.0 replaced by Dataset/Cube models
Characterisation v2.0 Need to be moved in VODML
SourceDataModel idle
STC-2.0 project replaced by Coords/Meas/Trans models
VODML-Mapping replaced with VOMAS
SSLDM v2.0 RFC cancelled

WG Roadmap

Standards and Documents

Here is a graphic illustrating the dependencies between data models used in the IVOA framework.


Topic Pages

  • Source and Catalog Requirement survey
  • Mapping hands-on session page (May 2018)
  • Source DM and Workshop 2021: see here
  • Running meeting 02/2022 : see here
  • Run meeting 06/2022 (SDM IPAC): see here
  • High Energy physics data modeled & serialised with VO tools page
  • Running meeting AstrPyVO MIVOT page

Implementation Requirements for Data Models

The "IVOA Document Standards" standard has a broad outline of the implementation requirements for IVOA standards. These requirements fit best into the higher level standards for applications and protocols than for data models themselves. At the Oct 2017 interop in Trieste, the following implementation requirements for Data Model Standards was agreed upon, which allow the models to be vetted against their requirements and use cases, without needing full science use cases to be implemented.

  • VO-DML models must validate against schema
  • Serializations which touch each entity of the model. These serializations may be 'fake' (ie: not based on actual data files), and are to be produced by the modeler as unit tests/examples.
  • Real world serializations covering use cases, produced by others following the model, in a mutually agreed upon format.
  • Software which interprets these serializations and demonstrates proper interpretation of the content.

Latest Adopted standards for Data Modeling

Latest Documents (proposed standards and implementations)

Older IVOA Drafts and Related Documents

Projects using data models

Virtual Observatory Projects working on Data models and their implementations should list themselves here. * to fill and update***

  • CDS
    1. Aladin portal
    2. CAMEA, an interactive tool for Characterisation metadata publishing
    3. Vizier + Saada: interface for products associated with Vizier sources
  • Lerma- Paris
    1. Aspid-SR CharDM


Most of our face-to-face activity takes place during IVOA Interoperabiltiy Meetings. Follow the Data Model Page links to locate agendas, presentation slides, and action items.

Interop Main page DM pageRole
Shanghai, China (15-19 May 2017) InterOpMay2017 InterOpMay2017-DM
Trieste, Italy (21-23 Oct 2016) InterOpOct2016 InteropOct2016DM
Cape Town, Sth Africa (9-13 May 2016) InterOpMay2016 InterOpMay2016
Sydney, Australia(30/10 - 01/11 2016) InterOpOct2015 InteropOct2015DM
Sesto, Italy (14-19 Jun 2015) InterOpJune2015 InterOpJune2015DM
Banff, Canada (10-12 Oct 2014) InterOpOct2014 InterOpOct2014DM
Madrid, Spain (18-23 May 2014) InterOpMay2014 InterOpMay2014DM
Heidelberg, Germany (12-17 May 2013) InterOpMay2013 InterOpMay2013DM
Sao Paulo, Brazil (22-26 Oct 2012) InterOpOct2012 InterOpOct2012DM
Urbana, USA (21-25 May 2012) InterOpMay2012 InterOpMay2012DM
Pune, India (17-21 Oct 2011) InterOpOct2011 InterOpOct2011DM
Naples, Italy (16-20 May 2011) InterOpMay2011 InterOpMay2011DM
Nara, Japan (7-11 Dec 2010) InterOpDec2010 InterOpDec2010DataModel
Victoria, Canada (17-21 May 2010) InterOpMay2010 InterOpMay2010DM
Strasbourg, France(19-23 May 2009) InterOpMay2009 DMInteropStrasbourg
Garching, Germany(19-23 Nov 2009) InterOpNov2009 InterOpNov2009DM
Trieste, Italy (19-23 May 2008) InterOpMay2008 InterOpMay2008DataModels
Cambridge, UK (27-28 Sep 2007) InterOpSep2007 InterOpSep2007DataModel
Beijing, China (14-18 May 2007) InterOpMay2007 InterOpMay2007DataModel
Moscow, Russia (18-21 Sep 2006) InterOpSep2006 InterOpSep2006DM
Victoria, Canada (14-19 May 2006) InterOpMay2006 InterOpMay2006DataModel
Madrid, Spain (6-7 Oct 2005) InterOpOct2005 InterOpOct2005DataModel
Kyoto, Japan (16-20 May 2005) InterOpMay2005 InterOpMay2005DataModel
Pune, India (27-29 Sept 2004) InterOpSep2004 InterOpSep2004DataModel
Cambridge, Mass. USA (23-28 May 2004) InterOpMay2004 InterOpMay2004DataModel
Strasbourg (16-17 Oct 2003) InterOpOct2003 InterOpOct2003Registry
Cambridge, UK (12-16 May 2003) InterOpMay2003 InterOpMay2003DataModel

Involved People

Name Country Organization Role
Jonathan McDowell USA CfA, Boston
Francois Bonnarel France CDS Strasbourg
Igor Chilingarian USA CFA
Marie Lise Dubernet France Paris Observatory
Mireille Louys France CDS/LSIIT Strasbourg
Gerard Lemson USA JHU
Alberto Micol Germany ESO
Nicolas Moreau France Paris Observatory
Pedro Osuna Spain European Space Agency / ESAC
ArnoldRots USA CfA, Boston
Anita Richards UK Jodrell Bank
Jesus Salgado Spain ESA/ESAC
J.D. Santander-Vela Germany ESO / Archive dpt
Arancha Delgado Germany ESO / Archive dpt
Petr Skoda Czech Rep. Astron Inst. of Acad. Sciences
OmarLaurino USA Harvard-Smithsonian
KristinRiebe Germany GAVO, AIP, Potsdam (Germany)
MathieuServillat France LUTH - Observatoire de Paris
Mark Cresitello-Dittmar USA CfA, Boston Chair
Laurent Michel France SSC XMM-Newton, Strasbourg Vice-Chair
Michele Sanguillon France Montpellier
Ole Streicher Germany GAVO, AIP, Potsdam

Please put your name here if you wish ...

Other DM Meetings

  • ADASS 2021: BoF TAP and the data models TapandTheDMs
  • Check the above Interop pages for DM WG sessions
  • ESO/Garching, Jan 2004: Data Model Technical Meeting 4 Draft 0.1 of Observation model
  • Baltimore, Dec 2003: Data Model Technical Meeting 3 (no minutes yet; see draft 0.2 of Quantity)
  • ESO/Garching on Jan. 23/24, 2003: Data Model Sessions minutes (WG creation and planning)
  • Cambridge MA, Oct 2002: Data Model Technical Meeting 1 presentations & minutes

  • Data Model Dependency graphic:
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
PDFpdf CharacterisationWDversion1.0.pdf manage 1762.9 K 2006-10-20 - 17:44 MireilleLouys Characterisation Data Model
PDFpdf Characterisation_Note_20051129.pdf manage 1250.5 K 2005-12-21 - 23:50 FrancoisBonnarel Characterization DM draft Note
PNGpng DataModelDependencyGraphic.png manage 197.8 K 2019-10-23 - 19:53 MarkCresitelloDittmar  
Microsoft Word filedoc DomainModelv0.9.1.doc manage 1733.0 K 2004-01-29 - 07:57 GerardLemson Rough and incomplete first draft
PNGpng ImageDMcomments.png manage 71.3 K 2012-02-28 - 14:39 MireilleLouys Overview on data model dependencies and re-use
PDFpdf Louys_Mireille_30876-AdassTalk.pdf manage 1371.8 K 2016-12-20 - 19:30 MireilleLouys ADASS Talk "Datamodels in the IVOA Framework" pdf version
Unknown file formatpptx Louys_Mireille_30876-finale.pptx manage 3127.2 K 2016-10-21 - 13:05 MireilleLouys ADASS Talk "Datamodels in the IVOA Framework"/names corrected
PDFpdf NSA-DM-v0.4.0.pdf manage 178.6 K 2004-08-20 - 22:12 PhillipWarner NOAO Science Archive Domain Model (snapshot)
PDFpdf Poona_2004_Catalogue_DM.pdf manage 69.6 K 2005-02-01 - 10:56 PedroOsuna [CATALOGUE]Kick-off presentation at Poona 2004
PDFpdf SourceDM_Moscow_2006.pdf manage 430.5 K 2006-09-19 - 11:03 InakiOrtiz Source Catalog Data Model Moscow Sept 2006
PDFpdf dmtm4.pdf manage 156.7 K 2004-03-10 - 02:02 JonathanMcDowell DM WG Tech Meeting 4 minutes
PNGpng imageDM.png manage 4.9 K 2011-06-03 - 09:41 MireilleLouys Overview on data model dependencies and re-use
PDFpdf map51.pdf manage 122.8 K 2004-05-25 - 05:04 JonathanMcDowell [MAPPING] Draft v0.51
PDFpdf obs.v0.2.pdf manage 291.3 K 2004-03-10 - 00:24 JonathanMcDowell [OBSERVATION] draft (pdf)
Postscriptps obs.v0.2.ps manage 3296.8 K 2004-03-10 - 00:23 JonathanMcDowell [OBSERVATION] draft
PDFpdf obs23.pdf manage 249.4 K 2004-05-25 - 04:16 JonathanMcDowell [OBSERVATION] draft V0.23
PDFpdf qty.v0.2.pdf manage 363.2 K 2004-03-10 - 00:18 JonathanMcDowell [QUANTITY] draft (pdf)
Postscriptps qty.v0.2.ps manage 616.1 K 2004-03-10 - 00:16 JonathanMcDowell [QUANTITY] draft
PDFpdf qty23.pdf manage 196.9 K 2004-05-25 - 04:01 JonathanMcDowell [QUANTITY] revised draft
PDFpdf spec0.5.pdf manage 150.4 K 2004-05-25 - 03:55 JonathanMcDowell [SPECTRA] Draft DM for SSAP
PDFpdf spec96d.pdf manage 208.5 K 2006-05-14 - 00:31 JonathanMcDowell Spectrum DM version 0.96 latest (Victoria)
PDFpdf spec97d.pdf manage 211.2 K 2006-05-14 - 09:49 JonathanMcDowell Alternative Spectrum DM with STC
PDFpdf spec98c.pdf manage 217.2 K 2006-09-05 - 13:44 JonathanMcDowell Revised Spectrum DM
PDFpdf stc-jcm.v1.pdf manage 141.3 K 2004-04-11 - 00:56 JonathanMcDowell [OBSERVATION] STC description
PDFpdf stc-jcm.v2.pdf manage 151.5 K 2004-05-25 - 03:56 JonathanMcDowell [OBSERVATION] STC description V2
Texttxt stcimp.txt manage 2.4 K 2007-04-13 - 09:29 JonathanMcDowell Note on STC Implementation Status
Topic revision: r213 - 2022-07-25 - LaurentMichel
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