IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (TM26)

Thurs Jan 17 2008 @ 16.00-17.30 GMT




  1. Roll Call and Agenda
  2. Minutes of FM25
  3. Project Reports - Significant events only
  4. Review of Actions - [NW]
  5. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  6. WG and IG Updates
    • ADQL - AS
    • TAP - BH
    • Footprint - BH
  7. IVOA Assessment Committee Update - DD
  8. Google, Microsoft, KML - RW
  9. VAMP (sorry - don't know what this stands for!) - BH, RW
  10. IVOA Information Web Page - BH, FG
  11. Standards Committee Charter and Document - BH
  12. Process for Inactive Members - DD
  13. IVOA Website - DD, BH
  14. May 2008 Interop Status - FP
  15. Fall 2008 Interop - BH
  16. Next Exec Meeting - DD
  17. AOB
  18. Review of New Action Items - NW

Reports from the Projects





During the last few months, the first scientific paper appeared from the China-VO group. Using VO-DAS (VO Data Access Service), Dr. Chao LIU and his colleagues searched Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR5 photometric data with 120d< α < 270d, 25d < δ < 70d for new Milky Way companions or substructures in the Galactic halo. Five candidates were identified as over dense faint stellar sources that have color-magnitude diagrams similar to those of known globular clusters, or dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The distance to each candidate was estimated by fitting suitable stellar isochrones to the color-magnitude diagrams. Geometric properties and absolute magnitudes were roughly measured and used to determine whether the candidates are likely dwarf spheroidal galaxies, stellar clusters, or tidal debris. This work has been publishes in A&A as "2008A&A...477..139L". "This is an important milestone for the China-VO," Prof. Yongheng ZHAO said, "which demonstrates the VO-DAS is useful and practical for astronomers."

Phase I of the China-VO had been completed by the end of 2007 officially. The China-VO will step its Phase II from 2008 to 2010 if we can get funding as planned. During the second phase, we will collaborate with LAMOST project more closely. Design and development of LAMOST scientific archive management system is taken by the China-VO. We will try to make the LAMOST archives VO-ready, providing interfaces for VO-DAS and other VO data access applications. Additionally, the China-VO will provide support to LAMOST in software development, data mining, user support, and other fields.

A new version of FitHAS (FITS Header Archiving Service) was release in last December. Keyword records from primary header units of 1.2 million SDSS DR6 1-d spectra FITS files ware imported into a MySQL database successfully. The software package is available for download at: http://services.china-vo.org/fithas/



France VO

A summary of F-VO activities from September 2007 to April 2008 is posted on the TM27 Exec Meeting web page


Funding proposal for GAVO III was submitted Tuesday to German science ministry. Still in same call for proposals with large instruments. New features: absence of Tuebingen, new presence of Bonn, Bochum (wide field imageing pipelines), MPIA Heidelberg (multi dimensional visualisation), MPDL (Wolfgang Voges), MPA takes place of MPE, 10FTEs.



Korean VO


In the first quarter of Year 7 of the NVO project (October-December 2007), we began working in earnest on a deploying more operationally oriented tools and services. This work includes improving the user interfaces and documentation and establishing service monitoring programs and a more comprehensive software management environment. Work continues, in collaboration with international partners, on enhancing and extending the underlying VO standards for data discovery, data access, and distributed data management.

The NVO data discovery portal tiger team has been working to refine the requirements and develop a design for a new primary interface to VO resources. We did not make our goal of demonstrating the new portal at the January 2008 AAS meeting, though compo-nents of the portal were shown and were received with interest from the community:

  • An enhanced registry interface
  • A new, simple query interface
  • A fast data inventory service
  • A revamped DataScope tool
  • The VIM (Virutal observatory Integration and Mining) tool
  • A VO Command-Line Interface

Work continues on integrating these components. We also demonstrated a simple interface to VO images for the iPhone/iTouch browser. NVO team members have been working in collaboration with Google and Microsoft on their sky exploration tools, Google Sky and WorldWide Telescope (WWT).

In the area of standards and technical development, progress was made toward completing the transition to the new IVOA registry schemas. The schemas are complex and not all international VO projects have been able to make concurrent progress (which is required for deployment). We will strive to complete this work in the second quarter. The Registry of Registries (RofR) was completed and deployed, allowing VO collaborators to identify the location of their registries in a common location and to verify the validity of their registry services. Discussions began concerning a VO Footprint Service standard. The Simple Spectrum Access Protocol (SSAP), finalized and approved in the previous quarter, has begun to be implemented more widely. Progress has also been made in standards definitions for the Table Access Protocol (TAP), ADQL, and VOSpace V1.1.

The NVO project has initiated regular monitoring of VO services for aliveness and compliance to stand protocols. Sites whose services are not responding or are providing incorrect outputs are being contacted and assisted in making repairs. The team has adopted SVN (Subversion) and Trac (a wiki-based front-end to SVN) as a common environment for software management and version tracking.

R. Cutri stepped down from the NVO Executive Committee owing to an increase in other responsibilities. J. Mazzarella, the head of the NASA Extragalactic Database project has replace him.

The NVO Book has been completed and was sent to the publisher for printing and distribution. Copies should be sent to recipients (NVO Summer School participants) and will be available for purchase from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in February 2008.

See http://www.us-vo.org/pubs/files/FY08Q11.pdf for further details.



  • Management

A proposal for funding the SVO activities during the period 2009-2011 was submitted on 15 January 2008. Results will be known by June 2008.

Four are the cornerstones of the proposal:

a) Development of a VO-compliant scientific archive for the GTC telescope, the COROT mission and the Calar Alto Observatory

b) VO-Science

c) Data Mining tools

d) Education and Outreach

SVO also receives additional funds from the Madrid Regional Government (ASTRID project,till end 2009), the Spanish Ministry of Education and Research (CONSOLIDER-GTC project, till end 2011) and INTA.

  • Participation in the EuroVO-DCa project

As part of the EuroVO-DCA project, SVO is leading WP6 ("Support to data centres from countries not participating in the project"). In this framework we are organising a VO-Info Workshop to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on January 24-25th. Participants from Bulagria, Serbia, Hungary and Romania will attend the workshop. More information can be found at: http://www.bgvo.org/VODAY2008/.

  • Talks

- "Science with Virtual Observatories" (IAC, Tenerife, December 2007,http://www.iac.es/folleto/research/seminarios/2007/Solano_1.htm).


The May 08 Interop meeting will be held from May 18th to 23rd at the main congress centre in Trieste, the “Stazione Marittima” building, conveniently located on the waterfront in the centre of town (http://www.promotrieste.it/congressi/palazzo.aspx, glossy info available at http://www.promotrieste.it/pdf/depliant.pdf).

The Interop will be held on the first floor of the building: with reference to the floor map on http://www.promotrieste.it/Sale/primo-piano.aspx, the Oceania A+B+C room (275 seats) will host the plenary sessions, Oceania A+B (120 seats) and Vulcania1 (130 seats) will be used for the splinter sessions, Vulcania2 (35 seats) will be available for separate meetings. Wi-fi will be available throughout.

There are a number of hotels nearby: the company running the congress centre, Promotrieste, will take care of the hotel booking and will perform block booking in a set of hotels of different categories. Coffee breaks will be served in the bar/restaurant area. Lunches could be provided via a catering service, fixed menu, buffet or served, at a price ranging from 20 to 40 Euros depending on the menu chosen (suggestions welcome).

Most of the expenses for the Interop will be covered by INAF. Additional funds for the social dinner and extra activities have been asked to local authorities in the Trieste region.

The web page for the meeting is being prepared and will be made available as soon as the details about lunches, social dinner and social activities are finalised.

Additional information on VObs.it activities:

A VObs.it proposal for funding has been made for 2008, which was accepted partially: there will be funds for travel and for the May 08 Interop meeting in Trieste. Additional funds may become available during the year. With additional support from the INAF Information Systems Unit, it should be possible to support for 2008 (on 2007 funds) two persons for VO activities, one in Milan, one in Teramo. Additional resources are received through the EU-funded projects (VO-Tech and VO-DCA).

IA2 has started a collaboration with Heidelberg and Tucson to build a VO-compliant LBT-wide archive, based on the successful experience of the data distribution of data for the LBT Scientific Demonstration Time (sites in Tucson, Heidelberg, Rome and Trieste).

The BaSTI facility providing stellar evolution models has been converted to a database structure and allowed to output VO-compliant data; the system builds new models using the EGEE grid infrastructure. BaSTI is accessible directly (http://albione.oa-teramo.inaf.it/) or through IA2 (http://wwwas.oats.inaf.it/IA2/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=14&Itemid=85).

Work is continuing within the EU-funded VO-Tech and VO-DCA projects. Both projects underwent reviews (in October and January, respectively), which were quite successful.


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

Applications WG

Data Access Layer WG

Data Models WG

Grid and Web Services Working Group

Registry WG

Semantics/UCD WG



VOTable WG

Astro-RG IG

  • The Astro-RG session will be held during the coming OGF meeting in Cambridge, MA. Its schedule will be announced soon by the OGF program committee.

Data Curation and Preservation IG

Theory IG

-- NicholasWalton - 14 Jan 2008

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