Space sciences

The AVM scheme supports the cross-searching of collections of print-ready and screen-ready astronomical imagery rendered from telescopic observations (also known as ‘pretty pictures’). The scheme is compatible with the Adobe XMP specification, so the metadata can be embedded within common image formats such as JPEG, TIFF and PNG.

Such images can combine data acquired at different wavebands and from different observatories. While the primary intent is to cover data-derived astronomical images, there are broader uses as well. Specifically, the most general subset of this schema is also appropriate for describing artwork and illustrations of astronomical subject matter.

AVM is a proposed recommendation of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance and was last updated in 2011.

FITS is an image data file format for encoding astronomical data. The WCS (World Coordinate System) conventions map elements in data arrays to standard physical coordinates in the sky. FITS has provisions for image metadata encoded in an ASCII header at the beginning of files.

An extension of FITS that enables data to be defined to specify physical, or world coordinates within each pixel in an image. The conventions were orignally proposed in 2002 then incorporated into the 3.0 release of the FITS standard.

A simulation extention to the SPASE data model.

The technical specifications defined by the IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance) enable interoperability between and the integration of astronomical archives across the world into an international virtual observatory. They include several data models that act as metadata schemas for particular data types: for example, photometry data, simulation data, space-time coordinates, spectral lines data, spectral data, observational data, and the physical parameter space of astronomical datasets.

These data models are under active development by the IVOA Data Modelling Working Group.

Additional recommendations have been made for metadata concepts and terms necessary for the discovery and the use of astronomical data collections and services.

OpenPMD provides naming and attribute conventions that allow the exchange of particle and mesh based data from scientific simulations and experiments. The primary goal is to define a minimal set/kernel of meta information that enables the sharing and exchange of data to achieve

  • portability between various applications and differing algorithms;
  • a unified open-access description for scientific data (publishing and archiving);
  • a unified description for post-processing, visualization and analysis.

OpenPMD suits any kind of hierarchical, self-describing data format, such as, but not limited to ADIOS1 (BP3), ADIOS2 (BP4), HDF5, JSON, and XML.

Defines metadata terms and concepts necessary for discovery and use of astronomical data collections and services.

The extension is based on Dublin Core, but with astronomy-specific extensions. Resource Metadata are collected in resource "registries" that are populated and synchronized using the OAI-PMH (Protocol for Metadata Handling). Version 1.12, March 2007. Developed and maintained by IVOA Resource Registry Working Group and NVO Metadata Working Group

The Standard for Documentation of Astronomical Catalogues is a set of conventions for archiving astronomical data. As well as path, filename and data format conventions, it also specifies how to construct a plain text description file for documenting the data files. It was developed as an alternative to FITS that would be more suited to archives, permit human inspection, and allow manipulation via standard Unix command-line tools.

SDAC was developed by CDS (Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg). Version 2.0 is the most recent; it was released in February 2000.

An information model for describing the elements of the heliophysics data environment, and a set of resource types which can be used to describe data along with its scientific context, source, provenance, content and location. It is designed to support a federated data system where data may reside at different locations and may be seperated from the metadata which describes it. The preferred expression form is XML.

The Space Physics Archive Search and Extract (SPASE) effort is implemented by the SPASE Consortium which is composed of representatives of the international Heliophysics data community. The Current Release of the data model (2.2.9) was updated in January 2018.