VOTable 1.5 Proposed Recommendation: Request for Comments

VOTable is a standard for the interchange of data represented as a set of tables, and includes both table metadata and the data itself.


Latest Draft: VOTable 1.5 (Proposed Recommendation)

The main purpose of VOTable 1.5 is to support refposition attribute analogous to TIMESYS.

VOTable 1.5 is a backward-compatible revision.

The other main differences between version 1.5 of VOTable and the preceding version 1.4 are:

  • COOSYS now has a refposition attribute analogous to TIMESYS.
  • The frame identifiers (system attribute) in COOSYS are now taken from the refframe IVOA vocabulary.
  • Clarifications and rewording on:
    • the meaning of MIN and MAX value attributes for array types.
    • removing the recommendation to use xmlns to do utype prefix binding.
    • timescales for calendar epochs.
    • positioning advice for ID and corresponding references.
    • noting that RESOURCE elements can contain MIVOT blocks.
    • unit attribute SHOULD conform to VOUnits, and correct examples accordingly.
See GitHub for a full list of changes.

To Do Upon Approval, Prior to Upload

  • Change version attribute in schema to "1.5"
  • In the document, set the \ivoatype to "IVOA Recommendation" and set the status text according to the official wording is in DocStd.


The VOTable GitHub Issues page contains a list of issues and proposed future enhancements. It is the main mechanism for contributing to the standard.

Reference Interoperable Implementations

DaCHS produces COOSYS refposition in TAP results from the gaia.dr3lite table in the GAVO Data Center TAP service which can be read by the latest versions of STILTS and TOPCAT. For example:

  • STILTS shows the metadata from the GAVO TAP results:
    • stilts tapquery tapurl=http://dc.g-vo.org/tap sync=true adql='select top 1 * from gaia.dr3lite' ocmd=meta

  • STILTS rewrites the VOTable from the GAVO TAP results, including the COOSYS refposition:
    • stilts tapquery tapurl=http://dc.g-vo.org/tap sync=true adql='select top 1 * from gaia.dr3lite' ofmt='votable(version=V15)' | grep COOSYS

  • TOPCAT's Columns Window shows that same metadata for those same GAVO TAP results.

Implementations Validators

  • The latest version of STILTS (v3.4-10) validates VOTable 1.5 with the following command:
  • stilts votlint my_votable_file.xml

  • The validates VOTable 1.5 by following these instructions:
    • Click on Load for VOTable.
    • In the empty text box below "URL of the service to validate:", enter the URL of a VOTable to validate.

Comments from the IVOA Community during RFC/TCG review period: 2024-04-01 - 2024-05-20

The comments from the TCG members during the RFC/TCG review should be included in the next section.

In order to add a comment to the document, please edit this page and add your comment to the list below in the format used for the example (include your Wiki Name so that authors can contact you for further information). When the author(s) of the document have considered the comment, they will provide a response after the comment.

Additional discussion about any of the comments or responses can be conducted on the WG mailing list. However, please be sure to enter your initial comments here for full consideration in any future revisions of this document

Comments from TCG members during the RFC/TCG Review Period: 2024-04-01 - 2024-05-20

WG chairs or vice chairs must read the Document, provide comments if any (including on topics not directly linked to the Group matters) or indicate that they have no comment.

IG chairs or vice chairs are also encouraged to do the same, althought their inputs are not compulsory.

TCG Chair & Vice Chair

Applications Working Group

Data Access Layer Working Group

Data Model Working Group

Grid & Web Services Working Group

Registry Working Group

Semantics Working Group

Data Curation & Preservation Interest Group

Education Interest Group

Knowledge Discovery Interest Group

Operations Interest Group

Radio Astronomy Interest Group

Solar System Interest Group

Theory Interest Group

Time Domain Interest Group

Standards and Processes Committee

TCG Vote

If you have minor comments (typos) on the last version of the document please indicate it in the Comments column of the table and post them in the TCG comments section above with the date.

Group Yes No Abstain Comments
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Topic revision: r7 - 2024-03-28 - AdrianDamian
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