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  • Walk-through of current Matrix (if available)
  • Observatories Data Model
    • Objectives - why do we need a new Data Model for Observatories
    • Connections to EPN-TAP, what will be exposed, data structure
    • Dependencies of "sky map", field of view,...
    • Timing
  • Matrix extension - data upload (amateur community)
    • Metadata of uploaded data (min. ref to observatory, target, ...?) - connection to Obs DM...
    • Requirements for upload functionality
  • AOB...
Matrix demonstrationManuel Scherf
  • Manuel Scherf demonstrated the Matrix as it is now
    • It is a problem to keep the observatory entries updated. Amateurs usually update their entries for their own, but for professional observatories this is a problem. They need to have a motivation for that.
    • Privacy can be an issue for amateurs and should be taken into account. Some of them do not want to have their GPS data online (such an entry may then anyhow be useless), however this is a minority.
      • Benoit Carry mentioned that a solution may be to not showing their data visible within the database but to nevertheless list their observatories, when they are able to observe a certain object.
Use Cases

Manuel Scherf,

Baptiste Cecconi,

Benoit Carry

  • Four use cases for the list of observatories were identified:
    1. Unique ID for every observatory, making observatories easily searchable via VESPA
      • Baptiste Cecconi clarified that a name resolver for observatories will be needed, as it is e.g. already existing for solar system bodies. The list of observatories should propose the observatory synonyms.
      • The data model for observatories has to be able to feed into VESPA metadata, i.e. EPN-TAP. Every required value of EPN-TAP must have a corresponding field in the Obs. DM.
      • Everything will be put on github.
    2. It should display, which observatory is able to observe which target at any given time
    3. For any ephemeris generation, the appropriate parameters of each observatory can be use (geolocation, horizon, etc)
    4. As a last use case it could provide an upload possibility for amateurs to upload their data
  • Benoit Carry warned that such an amateur database could grow extremely fast.
  • Baptiste Cecconi gives an example with RadioJove how such a data upload could possible be implemented. Each file, which is uploaded into the database of RadioJove is validated manually,
    • Some sort of validation is needed to assure the quality of the data. For huge data amounts this has to be automated in some way.
    • For RadioJove everyone uses the same software, which provides an automated way to fill out the metadata. If there are common tools, which are used by amateur astronomers, an add-on doing the same could be proposed.
  • The connection between the list of observatories and VESPA can be done with the DaCHS framework via EPN-TAP. Baptiste Cecconi and Pierre Le Sidaner are currently preparing a tutorial on how to set up a service.
  • There are several difficult issues connected with the creation of an amateur database, i.e. Baptiste Cecconi and Stéphane Erard mentioned e.g.
    • the validation of the data
    • the probably huge data amount. This can e.g. be restricted if only data from certain observation campaigns will be stored in the database.
    • the accuracy of the GPS data. The accuracy hence also has to be documented for each telescope/amateur, but this can be done.
    • the sustainability of such a database (this is also dependent on the amount of storage space required for the image DB)
  • It was agreed to divide this task into three steps:
    • Definition of the data model for observatories and to set up its EPN-TAP service
    • Observatory owners then have to fill in their observatories, and to regularly update it
    • The list of observatories can then be extended with a data upload service/function
  • Baptiste Cecconi will put his scheme for the data model on confluence for further discussion and he will also take a look at the matrix (

Action items

1 Comment

  1. Tarek Al-Ubaidi et al. apologies if I don't join. I am glad to iterate via email or alike if needed. The repo location you created is ok on github 

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