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Paper: Chapter 37: Space-Time Coordinate Metadata for the Virtual Observatory
Volume: 382, The National Virtual Observatory: Tools and Techniques for Astronomical Research
Page: 393
Authors: Rots, A.H.
Abstract: The full characterization of astronomical data in a semantically meaningful way requires a precise description of the properties of those data along all relevant axes. This description needs to be complete, internally consistent, and unambiguous. In this chapter we will describe the design of a metadata model that satisfies these requirements, distinguishing three broad categories of coordinate axes: generic coordinates (typically independent parameters, such as flux density, brightness, etc.), astronomical coordinates (time, space, spectral, and redshift or Doppler shift), and pixel coordinates. In all categories we distinguish three classes of metadata: the coordinate frame, the properties along the coordinates (coordinate values, errors, resolutions), and the coordinate area (the volume in coordinate space occupied by the data). The completeness of the coordinate metadata, and the underlying data model, is crucial for the Virtual Observatory since it is the part that ultimately enables the exchange of data, and their meaning, between different sub-disciplines. A more extensive discussion may be found in the formal STC standards document (see Useful Links). The STC standard is contained in that document, together with the STC XML Schema.
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