IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (FM15)

May 18 2005 @ 12.30-15.30 Local Time (Kyoto)


  • The meeting has been held in the Kyoto International Conference Centre, Room 104.


  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes of FM13
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Reports from VO projects (to be uploaded to web page)
  5. Reports from WGs
  6. Approval of Proposed Recommendations
    • IVOA Identifiers
    • UCD V1.06 "Moving to UCD1+"
    • STC 1.0
  7. Progress on Technical Roadmap
  8. Key IVOA positions
    • new Deputy chair
    • Secretary and Technical Lead
    • Applications Interest Group
  9. Kyoto meeting - review of progress
  10. Prague 2006 conference: next steps
  11. IVOA Calendar
  12. AOB
  13. Summary of Actions

Reports from the Projects

AstroGrid - AndyLawrence, 13 May 2005

Progress Report

AstroGrid just passed a major milestone - our first public release of an open system for astronomical end-users - AstroGrid-Release V1.0. This is a preliminary release, with limited documentation and known bugs, but we are encouraging astronomers to register, start using the system, and feedback their experiences. We anticipate a fuller release in late summer - V1.1. This will be a release of an improved end-user system and a release of the AstroGrid software suite, which of course all other VO projects are welcome to make use of. Since the very recent announcement, we have 26 new registered users, making 71 in total now; it will be interesting to see how this grows.

The release is described on AstroGrid News and is available at http://www.astrogrid.org/release-v1.0

This release has a portal; access to virtual storage (MySpace); a browsable Registry; a query builder; a workflow building system; some simplified "science services" parameter driven tasks; and links to third party applications, like TopCat and Aladin. Some things work directly through the portal, using Cocoon. Others are launched on the client machine using Java Webstart, using an "AstroGrid Desktop".

Given that we now have a fully working system, we are having vigorous debates about how to maintain and support such a system, and the relation between the AstroGrid project and the UK data centres. (I bet this all sounds familiar to some of you ..)

The other thing of note is that we running a workshop for users in July in Cambridge. For further details see the news announcement, or the full details here.

China-VO - ChenzhouCui, 16 May 2005

An updated version of VOTFilter, an XML filter for OpenOffice Calc to read and write VOTable file, is nearly finished. After a short time test, it will be open to the community. The first release is available from http://services.china-vo.org/vofilter/.

China-VO is cooperating with National Center for Data Mining (NCDM), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on a real-time demo for iGRID 2005, From Federal Express to Lambdas: Transporting Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Using UDT.

A senior Grid developer is under probation at NAO (China). After one-month test, we will decide whether he will join the China-VO group.

CVO Canada - David Schade, 18 May 2005

The CVO Project has released (April 2005) an implementation of SIAP 1.0 compliant services for over 500,000 images from CFHT mosaic cameras (CFH12k and Megaprime), Hubble Space Telescope (20,000 Association Stack Images, and 6000 processed ACS images), and JCMT (processed SCUBA sub-mm bolometer array images). The implementation includes all optional output (WCS, time, bandpass metadata). The CFHT and HST services perform image cutouts and all returned images have corrected WCS information in the FITS headers.

We have made major improvements to the CVO web site and web-based data exploration tools and added a new forms-based tool to provide directed access to the same content. Visualisation with Aladin for the images (WFPC2 Associations and ROSAT fields) and Specview for spectra (2QZ) has been integrated, including WFPC2 source catalog overlay when viewing the WFPC2 Association images. We now support download of query results in VOTable and CSV format and loading VOTable data directly into VOPlot for analysis.

CVO is also developing prototype query systems for Time-Based Query (released in April 2005 but still under development) and Wavelength-Based Query (release in July 2005). These prototypes allow exploration of Data Collections where the user is interested in selected a specific scheme of Time (or wavelength) sampling regardless of position on the sky. The user might request 7 samples with a range of 1 year from the first to last sample and separations of 7-28 days between consecutive samples. Any association of data that meets these constraints will be returned independent of position. Similarly, a user of the Wavelength-Based Query tool may request regions of the sky with observations in X-Ray, Infrared, and Sub-millimetre bands. This service will be a VO application that integrates distributed SIAP services with local services.

Proposals for continued funding for staff and new capital for storage growth are in progress in the context of the Canadian Long Range Plan for Astronomy and with the National Research Council of Canada.

DRACO Italy - FabioPasian, 16 May 2005

The DRACO project is approaching its end, foreseen by the end of the year. The main purpose of its activity, i.e. porting on the grid a number of applications of astrophysical interest, has already been successfully reached. Of particular interest, the pilot service allowing access to IVOA-compliant registry services and databases within the grid structure is currently being finalised in close collaboration with the CNAF team of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, closely involved with the EU EGEE project. Another DRACO success in the field of computational grids is the acceptance by the EGEE Generic Applications Panel of a project to simulate the data acquired during the full ESA Planck mission.

DRACO organised the first meeting of the INAF centres involved in VO activities; the meeting was held in Trieste on 3-4 March 2005 and included staff from OATrieste, OATorino, OARoma, OACapodimonte, OAArcetri, OAPadova, IRA Bologna. The status of the international projects in the field was discussed and the willingness of all data centres to adapt their archives to meet IVOA standards was re-confirmed. New funding was granted to IA2, the main data center to allow access to TNG and in the future to LBT data acquired during the Italian time: the TNG Long Term Archive prototype will thus be upgraded and a first beta release for restricted use is expected in fall.

As for IVOA-compliant access to the data of space-borne instruments hosted at ASDC, the contract between ASI and INAF including this activity is still waiting finalisation.

A meeting to discuss the work to be done for the Italian Theoretical VO (TVO) will occur in June. Of particular relevance is the discussion of the connections between this activity and the INAF contribution to the Design Study #4 of the VO-Tech project.

Mechanisms to re-finance DRACO, and particularly its VO component, beyond the end of the project are being actively pursued. The need is felt to complement the INAF contribution with external funding.

Euro-VO - PeterQuinn, 11 Apr 2005

The final demonstration for the AVO project (and the end of the project) occurred at the ESA Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Villafranca Spain, from 25-26 January 2005. A full report can be found at http://www.euro-vo.org/twiki/bin/view/Avo/AvoDemo2005. This occasion also marked the initiation of the Euro-VO program. I would like AVO to be removed from the IVOA membership and replaced by Euro-VO (using the existing www.euro-vo.org as the home site for the moment). Euro-VO will be represented on the IVOA Exec by myself and Martin Kessler from ESAC. I ask that the IVOA Exec recognize and accept this transition.

The Euro-VO work program will be executed by three new organizations. The EURO-VO Data Centre Alliance (DCA), the Euro-VO Technology Centre (VOTC) and the EURO-VO Facility Centre (VOFC). A Memorandum of Understanding supporting the Euro-VO program has been drafted between ESO, ESA, PPARC, INAF, INSU, INTA, Max Planck Gesellschaft, NOVA and PPARC and is expected to be signed by mid-2005. A successful proposal (VO-TECH) to the EC FP6 scheme was lead by Andy Lawrence and generated 6.6 million Euro in funds. This contains 12 new software engineering positions who will work with 12 contributed positions from the six partner organizations (U.Edinburgh, U.Leicester, U.Cambridge, ESO, CDS, INAF) to execute a three year work program on VO infrastructure and tool development. VO-TECH is the first project under the VOTC umbrella and successfully started in January 2005. The DCA Executive Board had its first meeting in December 2004. A proposal to the EC FP6 for DCA funding was lead by Francoise Genova from CDS in March 2005. The proposal is seeking approximately 2 million Euro in funds for DCA startup over the next two years. Results from this proposal are expected by mid-year. Start-up activities for the VOFC are foreseen for 2005/2006 under the joint leadership of ESO and ESA. In line with the IVOA roadmap, Euro-VO is endeavoring to make 2005 a year of data centre take-up by hosting a workshop at ESO in June. The workshop currently has 80 registered participants and will conduct a series of overviews, lectures and tutorials aimed at giving data centre and large project staff the ability to publish data within the existing VO infrastructure (see http://euro-vo.org/workshop2005 for details).

France VO - FrancoiseGenova, 16 May 2005

The French VO has undergone several important actions in the last period:

  • a census of VO-related projects in French laboratories: 45 answers were received. Nearly all the French laboratories sent at least one answer. The projects cover a wide range of topics, from astrometry to theory, and also Sun/Earth relations (space plasma physics and the study of the Sun), and the study of planets, which are also included in the French VO.

  • the first plenary meeting of the French VO took place in Paris (4-7 April 2005). The program and viewgraphs from talks is available. More than 50 people attended, and nearly all the laboratories were represented. The following topics were addressed:
    • status of VO actions in the different disciplines covered by the French VO (including a talk by P. Padovani about the scientific aspects of the astronomical VO)
    • French VO disciplinary services
    • VO policy of laboratories
    • presentation of several thematic services
The role and actions of the French VO (Action Spécifique Observatoires Virtuels France) were discussed. It was in particular decided to settle a mailing list for technical discussion, complementary to the IVOA WG mailing lists. Three satellite technical meetings were also organized:
    • feedback from October 2004 "Standards and tools of the VO" tutorial and preparation of Kyoto Interoperability meeting (organized by F. Bonnarel and A. Schaaff)
    • spectroscopy (organized by P. Prugniel)
    • theory in the VO (organized by H. Wozniak)

  • The French VO opened two Announcement of Opportunity in 2005. The first one was aimed at supporting French participants to the Kyoto Interoperability meeting (and similar meetings for the other disciplines) and to the Garching Euro-VO Workshop. The second (closed on 7 June 2005) aims at supporting French participants to the El Escorial Interoperability meeting. It will also support thematic or technical meetings, such as the one organized in June by space plasma and solar physicists to discuss common metadata. Another working group is settled, in the context of the Europlanet project, to discuss the extension of IVOA standards to planetology.

VO-India - Ajit Khembavi, 11 Apr 2005

See attached report .pdf

Korean VO - Sang Chul Kim, 25 May 2005

For the past ~six months, the KVO people have been enthusiastically trying to get >300,000 USD e-Science fund (3-6 years) from the government. But, on the second week of May we found out that we could not succeed. We guess it might not be possible for us to get any other fund this year.

Another difficulty we are suffering is the lack of manpower. Two staffs are the only VOers in KASI (Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute) and one postdoc and one programmer (from China-VO) work with us. However, staffs and postdocs are mostly asked to perform astronomical researches first, so we barely follows up the international VO progresses. Nevertheless, we are struggling to study and look for our own niche in VO area. We hope we could do better in 2005 and 2006, and it would be nice if we could learn/work together with any other advanced projects or those in similar situation.

Finally, since we have a new 3-year-duration institute (KASI) president (Dr. Seok Jae Park from the former president Dr. Se-Hyung Cho) today, we expect there could be (a) reshaping of the structure of the institute and (b) new assignments of personnel to new divisions probably next month.

NVO - BobHanisch, 13 May 2005

Significant progress has been made on the VOStore concept, by which users of the virtual observatory can store data files and tables in a distributed and secure manner. Results from remote services will have their results stored in VOStore, with location transpar-ency, and the results can be shared with collaborators. VOStore motivates the implemen-tation of authentication and authorization capabilities, and various approaches are being evaluated.

Substantial effort was spent this quarter on evaluating the quality and completeness of registry entries and providing feedback to resource and service publishers about how to improve their resource descriptions. Common errors and omissions in resource metadata are being addressed through modifications to the Resource Metadata definition docu-ment. Issues concerning compliance with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) metadata harvesting protocols have been worked out, and collaboration has continued on defining the standard interface specification for registry queries.

Work has also progressed on the spectral data model and the associated Simple Spectrum Access Protocol (SSAP), with both to be presented and discussed at the spring IVOA Interoperability workshop in Kyoto. A number of prototype implementations of spectral data access services and spectral data display and analysis tools have been deployed, and these have helped to inform and refine the data model and SSAP work.

An IVOA VOEvent workshop was held at Caltech and concluded with an agreement by an international team on an information infrastructure to support the burgeoning field of event-based astronomy. The objective of the VOEvent working group is to build an open standard for exchanging messages about immediate astronomical events, including publication, archiving, query, subscription, and aggregation. The VOEvent standard has been agreed in rough form at the workshop, and has buy-in from projects including GCN, LSST, Pan-STARRS, Palomar-Quest, LIGO, eStars, Raptor, Pairitel, ATEL, and Hands-On Universe.

The Space-Time Coordinates (STC) metadata specification and associated XML schema were promoted to Proposed Recommendation status. VOEvent discussions have helped to focus the development team on the importance of the STC and have led to comments during the open Request-for-Comments period.

Planning for the second NVO Summer School has gotten underway. A site has been secured (Aspen Meadows Resort, Aspen, Colorado), dates have been set (6-15 September 2005), the faculty has been recruited, and announcements have been made. A detailed curriculum is under development. Full details are available on the NVO Summer School website at http://www.us-vo.org/summer-school/2005/.

(From the NVO Quarterly Report for January-March 2005. The full report can be found at http://us-vo.org/pubs/files/fy95q2.pdf.)

RVO - Oleg Malkov, 14 May 2005

The Russian Virtual Observatory. A brief report.

  1. We continue our activity on digitizing photographic plates of Russian observatories. This work is being done in collaboration with Sofia Plate Archive Data Centre. The conference "Virtual Observatories: Plate Content Digitization, Archive Mining, Image Sequence Processing" was organised in Sofia (27-30 Apr 2005), where two presentations on the RVO were made.
  2. A prliminary version of the Russian Virtual Observatory Project is recently posted at http://www.inasan.rssi.ru/eng/rvo/project.html A second edition of the booklet "Information Infrastructure of the RVO" (Briukhov et al.) is being prepared and will soon be posted at the RVO web-site.
  3. A second version of the list of Russian astronomical on-line resources is prepared and being registered in the NVO registry.
  4. A Euro-Asian Astronomical Society VII Congress will take place in the very beginning of June (Moscow State University), were a plenary talk on the RVO will be done.
  5. We start to prepare an IVOA Interoperability Meeting (autumn 2006) in Moscow.

SVO - Enrique Solano, 18 May 2005

Spanish Virtual Observatory progress report.

  • Project: The Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO, http://sdc.laeff.esa.es) has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Research until the end of 2005. A new proposal to cover the period 2006-2008 was submitted last February. The final decision will be known in September 2005.
  • Personnel: Two fellowships will join SVO in May05. During their one-year contract they will work in the development of a VO-compliant preparatory tool for DARWIN, an ESA mission for the discovery and characterization of Earth-like extrasolar planets as well as in the development of the Scientific Data Centre of GTC, the Spanish 10m telescope.
  • Analysis tools:
    • Automated classification of light curves: A preliminary version of the system, already implemented in the OMC archive (http://sdc.laeff.esa.es/omc/), is able to separate between eclipsing variables (with five subclasses according to the physical scenario) and pulsating variables. This version has been enhanced to cover almost all the classes of pulsating variable stars as defined by HIPPARCOS. A first demonstration will take place during the COROT review meeting to be held in Toulouse in May 2005.
    • Fitting of stellar stpectra: In the framework of the science case 'Characterization of circumstellar disks around Pre Main Sequence stars', SVO is being developing a VO tool to build the observed SED (Spectral Energy Distribution) of a PMS object and compare it with theoretical models. The system implements a tool to estimate the parameters of the model that best fits the observation based on Bayesian methods
    • A preparatory tool for the Darwin mission: The target selection is a critical issue for the Darwin mission. SVO is developing a tool to get all the relevant information (observational properties, physical parameters) already available in astronomical archives and catalogues of the potential Darwin targets taking advantage of the Virtual Observatory standards.
  • Theory in the VO: In collaboration with ESAVO, a protocol to access theoretical data has been proposed. A presentation describing the protocol and its implementation in a real theoretical tool (PGos3) will be given in the Theory session of the Interoperability meeting.
  • Education and Outreach:
    • A seminar about the Virtual Observatory was given in March 2005 at the Instituo de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA), one of the largest astronomical centres in Spain. The major goal of the seminar was to enhance the already existing IAA participation in VO activities by a deeper knowledge of the Virtual Observatory and how it can help in the astronomical research. Informal meetings with small groups interested in different VO aspects tool place after the seminar. The experience was very positive and the primary goal was achieved.

Japan-VO - MasatoshiOhishi, 11 Apr 2005

Progress Report (Japanese Virtual Observatory) Jan - Apr, 2005

1) Personnel No change.

2) Development Status The JVO prototype system has been upgraded dramatically since January.

First of all, several databases in Japan were connected to the JVO prototype.JAXA/ISAS has been collaborating with the NAOJ, and their database system -- DARTS (http://www.darts.isas.ac.jp/index.html) that contains satellite data in the X-ray and IR wavelengths -- has been connected through implementing the SkyNode interface, that was developed and implemented with the Java code by the NAOJ, to the DARTS system. Although its access has been restricted to within Japan (because of internal issue in JAXA/ISAS), Japanese researchers now are capable to have smooth and integrated access to the DARTS database through the VO environment.

Secondly we implemented the cross-match function in the JVO SkyNode. Before January the JVO SkyNode had a functionalities corresponding to the Basic SkyNode, but now it is the Full SkyNode. Furthermore JVO SkyNode experimented to accept multiple IVOA standard protocols -- SIAP and SkyNode (SSAP in near future). This is to examine the proposed "Virtual Column Concept" toward integrated query language among the DAL and the VOQL groups. These results will be presented at the Interoperability workshop in Kyoto.

3) Demonstrations of the JVO prototype in Japan Annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of Japan was held between March 28 and 30, 2005, in a suburb city to Tokyo. The JVO group has made a demonstration of its prototype for three days, and many astronomers showed strong interest on the JVO system.

Unexpectedly the concept of VO has gradually prevailed in Japan, and people in other field, such as geophysics and planetary physics, remote sensing, and so on, approached to the JVO group to ask them to give a talk how they developed their systems. People in these field have collected a lot of data, however, have struggled to provide seamless access to these data for their research communities. JVO team members gave some talks on their history, including activities in the IVOA, and stressed that international standardization is one of the key for the success.

4) International Collaborations Two active members from NVO visited Japan in the middle of February, and made very fruitful discussion on ADQL, SkyNode, etc. Some other VO groups, such as CDS, ESA, have contacted to the JVO group for future collaboration. It should be noted that a group in Taiwan shows interest to initiate VO in Taiwan, and two JVO members are invited to Taiwan at the end of April to give a talk not only on JVO but IVOA.

Reports from WGs

GWS WG - GuyRixon, 13 May 2005

VO Support interfaces was due to go to v1.0 and PR in January. It didn't, because there was no spare effort to write its normative WSDL. The WSDL contract has now been produced as part of VO Support Interfaces 0.22. Progress should be faster from here on in. Completion to full recommendation in the summer of 2005 seems likely.

VO basic profile is still at v0.1. This profile mandates VO support interfaces, so it is waiting on the latter.

VOStore is now at v0.18 following meetngs between NVO and AstroGrid and recent input from Caltech. There are now several local prototypes of this standard and serious interoperability trials are likely to begin shortly after the Kyoto meeting. VOStore cannot be properly finished and signed off until the security arrangements are agreed; however, the security is largely orthoganal to the rest of the problem and the interoperability trials don't need the full security solution. Completion to v1.0 and PR during 2005 seems probable.

The Asynchronous Activities work-package has spawned the Universal Worker Service specification. This is an attempt to refactor the asynchronicity features of AstroGrid's Common Execution Architecture to work with the OASIS WS-Resource Framework suite of standards and so to use some toolkits and software libraries from outside the VO movement. If IVOA chooses to standardize something based on CEA, then UWS is the proposed web-service interface. The timescale for completing this work package depends on the level of interest and involvement after Kyoto. Completion during 2005 is possible but not certain.

The single-sign-on (SSO) work-package has drafted several new documents: a review of Shibboleth (requested at the Cambridge MA and Pune meetings); a specification of the trust model for authentication (including the procedures for providing identity certificates without pain); and an architecture for the SSO support services that allows integration with Shibboleth. These documents are being presented for the first time in Kyoto, so the group's reaction is not known. If the basic ideas in the documents find favour, then I would expect the SSO profile to go to 1.0 and PR in the last quarter of 2005. Research in the time since the Pune meeting has led to one document (the proposed message-security protocol at v0.1) being deprecated as inappropriate for the IVO's needs. Sometimes we need to go back to find the right path!

All the current drafts are linked from the GWS-WG page for the Kyoto meeting.

UCD WG - AndreaPreiteMartinez, 13 May 2005

According to the RoadMap approved in the InterOpSep2004 meeting of Pune, a RFC on the PR document "UCD (Unified Content Descriptor) - moving to UCD1+. Version 1.06" was issued on Oct27. At that date there were three ucd documents: the main PR ucd document, the list of ucd words (WD-20040823), and a Note describing the subdivision of the em-spectrum.

Although the community was solicited before the end of the RFC period, only 2 answers with comments were received. To the first one (how to deal with versioning) I answered with a specific tool - also available as a web service - called "upgrade" that takes care of upgrading UCD1+ to the last published version. To the second suggestion (to terminate UCDs with a semicolon in order for a parser to unambiguously detect the ucd string) the answer is that we actually don't need that because the new list of words should avoid ucd "atoms" that are a sub-string of another atom.

In the mean time, activity on UCDs went on with the collection of comments and suggestions on the list of words, the release of an updated version of the list (WD-20050429), and with the development of a number of tools devoted to the handling/assigning of UCDs. For the Kyoto InterOpMay2005 meeting we propose to discuss the possibility of upgrading the WD into a PR.

At the same meeting we will start a joint discussion with the VOEvent WG on the semantic aspects of the "event vocabulary".

Data Models WG - JonathanMcDowell, 15 May 2005

The main progress has been on Spectra (SSA), STC and Characterization. The SSA model has been somewhat refined and several independent implementations of the VOTable and XML schema have been created which help validate the model. We are working on a full implementation and we are making adjustments to match Doug's SSA protocol document.

The CDS and Maryland teams have proposed schemas for Characterization which are quite similar, and we will work to merge these and map them to the Space Time coords schema.

The STC schema was put forward as a Proposed Recommendation and Arnold is reviewing the input received.

Data Access Layer WG - DougTody, 16 May 2005

The main focus of activity for the DAL WG in recent months has been SSA. V0.9 of the SSA data model (developed with the data models WG) was released late last year. The SSA query interface was released as a working draft in May, and will be a main topic for discussion at the Kyoto interoperability meeting. Versions of this document have been in preparation within a subgroup since late last year. Most of the issues remaining to be resolved have to do with data models and trying to align the data models used in SSA with those being developed elsewhere within the data models group, e.g., for dataset characterization. The target for releasing SSA V0.9 is now summer 2005. SIA V1.1, which will be based upon SSA, has also slipped due to the dependence upon SSA as a precursor.

As part of our longer term plan we are starting to look at how to integrate ADQL into DAL, and how to interface community data analysis software to the VO data access services.

Registry WG - TonyLinde, 13 May 2005

There have been significant spurts of activity on the wg mailing list over recent months, many of them initiated and coordinated by Ray Plante, to whom we all offer our thanks for his efforts. These discussions have led to a number of proposals which will be discussed at this meeting:


  • a v1.1 revision of the RM to incorporate lessons from current practice and quality
  • an effort to push to a v1.0 VOResource that can go through the standards process. Current changes on tap are minor but are being affected by the Registry Interface standard development.
  • preparations for overhauling an important VOResource extension, currently called VODataService which looks specifically at describing data collections and services or applications. Important input to this is the Astrogrid work on CEA and the Universal Worker Service.

Registry Interface:

  • a push to release a self consistent (v1.0?) working draft of the Registry Interface document. This document describes the harvesting and searching interfaces for registries.


  • NVO has undertaken at systematic review of current registry records to look at what is useful and what is not. The results are feeding into the latest version of the RM.
  • Discussions are underway about how we can encourage good quality metadata in our records and what the role of the registries are in the curation of this information. At the center of this discussion is the proposal for a metadatum called ResourceVerificationLevel (or just verification level) which helps define the roll registries must take in curation.

Document Standards WG - BobHanisch, 13 May 2005

The last major action of this WG was to publish additional guidelines for IVOA document management (naming conventions, clarification of review and promotion rules, etc.) in April 2004 (http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/latest/DocStdProc.html).

VOEvent WG - RoyWilliams, 17 May 2005

A VOEvent workshop was held in Pasadena in April, with generous support from the US-VO. A rough consensus was achieved, and a core group formed.

A version 0.90 specification of the XML VOEvent packet has been released for comment, and we hope for progress to an implementation version (1.0) in the near future. The standard includes:

  • Buy-in for the new standard from projects that include: GCN, LSST, Pan-STARRS, Palomar-Quest, LIGO, eStars, Raptor, Pairitel, ATEL, and Hands-On Universe.
  • The possibility of simplicity, and also the possibility of positional and semantic accuracy,
  • Division into sections: Who, Wherewhen, What, How, Hypothesis, and Citations.
  • Contact and publisher information so that consumers of events can restrict event subscription to trusted sources,
  • Rich semantic content through the IVOA UCD vocabulary to express the meaning of project-specific data in an interoperable way,
  • Integration with the IVOA Space-Time Coordinate schema, so that locations and timing can be defined either very simply or with sophistication and precision,
  • Integration with the Remote Telescope Markup Language (RTML) so that VOEvents can be rapidly converted to scheduling instructions for a telescope,
  • A global identifier structure based on IVOA registry so events can be cited into the future,
  • Message types such as Discovery, Followup, Retraction, and Supercede to provide a coherent picture of distributed knowledge about a discovery,

Next for VOEvent will be:

  • Rigorous 1.0 implementation standard of the VOEvent schema, Defining standard transport protocols for VOEvents, Defining a query and subscription language, Implementation experiments, esp. for GCN (the 'gold standard of event astronomy'), Semantic description of event 'Hypothesis' in terms of standard vocabulary, Wider community, selling it to astronomers, including neutrino astronomers.

VOTable WG - FrancoisOchsenbein, 17 May 2005

The last meeting of the VOTable WG occured at Cambridge in May 2004, where the VOTable 1.1 was adopted; it further moved to the status of an IVOA Recommendation in August 2004. Working VOTables using the features of the new 1.1 version have been demonstrated since.

At this Kyoto session a few tools based on the VOTable standards will be presented. The main question to be discussed is how to integrate a proper definition of the coordinate system used to express positions of the astronomical objects listed in the tables (link with the Space-Time coordinates data model). A few other questions (ucds in VOTable, datatypes) which have been raised on the VOTable mailing list, will be discussed.

VOQL WG - MasatoshiOhishi, 18 May 2005

In the Pune meeting, the WG agreed to work toward ADQL 1.0 by the end of December, 2004. However it was ponited out that number of reference implementations were less than that requested by the IVOA standard procedure. Therefore the WG decided to postpone its approval, and to request several VO projects to implement SkyNode interface to accept ADQL.

Some projects, such as US-VO, AstroGrid, Japan-VO agreed to implement. After the January 2005 demo in the US, these VO projects implemented the SkyNode interface. The results were reported in the VOQL sessions during the Kyoto InterOp WS.

The latest documents (ADQL and SkyNode interface) have version number of 0.91, which are found in the TWiKi page of the IVOA. These are minor upgrades from 0.7.4 which is a de facto standard in IVOA. Reference implementations were made based on 0.7.4 or 0.8, and the WG found the ADQL and SkyNode specs are interoperable to large extent.

Japan-VO made an experimental implementation toward an integration of ADQL and DAL interface. The report was also made during the joint session VOQL/DAL, and it was found that this integration does not harm the DAL interfaces. The VOQL and DAL WGs agreed to develop the integrated interface through collaborative work between two groups.

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