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Paper: Virtual Observatory Services at WFAU
Volume: 434, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIX
Page: 291
Authors: Holliman, M.; Read, M.; Hambly, N.; Mann, R. G.
Abstract: The Wide Field Astronomy Unit hosts a large number of Virtual Observatory (VO) services that enable access to both data and processing applications housed on our servers in Edinburgh. These services provide astronomers with a powerful set of tools for obtaining and processing data in ways unattainable through conventional access methods. The services offered include cone search and ADQL access to a number of major databases developed by our data centre such as UKIDSS, SuperCOSMOS Science Archive, and the 6dF Galaxy Survey, and also many mirrors of important databases developed elsewhere, such as SDSS, IRAS, and 2XMM. Images for UKIDSS and SuperCOSMOS are accessible through SIA services. There are useful data processing tools like the STILTS library for table manipulation, a data mining tool for classification using kernel density analysis, and a service for converting VOTables into KML for use in Google Sky. Also hosted are a number of VO infrastructure services like a full registry and VOSpace that enable users to find resources and store data in an online accessible location. WFAU provides secured VO services to the proprietary UKIDSS releases, which are the first secured VO services for a major proprietary data resource in the entire VO. With a limited knowledge of python and a copy of the VODesktop software astronomers can script up workflows that utilize these services to perform complex operations like cross matching between disparate datasets or extracting catalogues from images remotely. Since many of our databases are too large to be downloaded and accessed locally these services make it possible to accomplish complicated tasks online and on dedicated hardware. WFAU’s list of VO services will continue to grow as new IVOA standards are implemented and with the addition of new datasets like the VISTA surveys.
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