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Paper: Lessons Learned during the Development and Operation of Virtual Observatory
Volume: 434, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIX
Page: 73
Authors: Ohishi, M.; Shirasaki, Y.; Komiya, Y.; Mizumoto, Y.; Yasuda, N.; Tanaka, M.
Abstract: In the last a few years several Virtual Observatory (VO) projects have entered from the research and development phase to the operations phase. The VO projects include AstroGrid (UK), Virtual Astronomical Observatory (former National Virtual Observatory, USA), EURO-VO (EU), Japanese Virtual Observatory (Japan), and so on. This successful transition from the development phase to the operations phase owes primarily to the concerted action to develop standard interfaces among the VO projects in the world, that has been conducted in the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The registry interface has been one of the most important key to share among the VO projects and data centers (data providers) with the observed data and the catalog data. Data access protocols and/or language (SIAP, SSAP, ADQL) and the common data format (VOTable) are other keys. Consequently we are able to find scientific papers so far published. However, we had faced some experience during the implementation process as follows:
  • At the initial stage of the registry implementation, some fraction of the registry meta data were not correctly set, or some meta data were missing. IVOA members found that it would be needed to have validation tools to check the compliance before making the interface public;
  • It seemed that some data centers and/or data providers might find some difficulties to implement various standardized interfaces (protocols) in order to publish their data through the VO interfaces. If there were some kind of VO interface toolkits, it would be much easier for the data centers to implement the VO interfaces; \item At the current VO standardization, it has not been discussed in depth on the quality assurance on the published data, or how we could provide indexes on the data quality. Such measures would be quite helpful for the data users in order to judge the data quality. It would be needed to discuss this issue not only within IVOA but with observatories and data providers;
  • Past and current development in the VO projects have been driven from the technology side. However, since the ultimate purpose of the VOs is to accelerate getting astronomical insights from, e.g., huge amount of data or multi-wavelength data, science driven advertisement (including schools to train astronomers) would be needed;
  • Some data centers and data providers mentioned that they need to be credited. In the Data-Centric science era it would be crucial to explicitly respect the observatories, data centers and data providers;

Some suggestions to these issues are described.
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