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Paper: Astronomy and Databases: A Symbiotic Relationship
Volume: 61, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems III
Page: 111
Authors: Schmitz, M.; Helou, G.; Madore, B. F.; Corwin, H. G.; Bennett, J.; Lague, C.; Wu, X.
Abstract: The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) currently includes the merger of some 40 major catalogs covering all wavelengths, and continues to grow with the addition of scores of shorter lists culled from published journal articles. Through an easy-to-use interface (freely accessible over the networks), NED offers the user detailed cross-identifications, bibliographic references, positions, redshifts, photometric data and additional information for more than 250,000 extragalactic objects. New features recently added include an X-Window-based graphical interface, sky-plots of NED objects and SAO stars, and more detailed photometric data. Functions soon to be available include displays of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and multi-wavelength images. The value of such NED services to the astronomical community is a strong function of the quality of description provided for the published data. By making available clear, complete descriptions (especially unique object identifiers and/or positions, uncertainties on all measured quantities and their meanings, detailed observational parameters, etc.), authors can increase the usefulness of NED to themselves, and the entire community, while making the NED team's job more efficient and more accurate, requiring fewer assumptions.
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