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Paper: Conception and Development of a Tool to Abstract Access to and Merge Multiple Astronomical Data Stores
Volume: 527, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIX
Page: 359
Authors: Thong, S.; Becker, G.; D'Abrusco, R.; McCollough, M.; Van Stone, D.; Winkelman, S.
Abstract: The amount of astronomical data available has increased rapidly in recent years and is expected to accelerate dramatically with the advent of next generation instruments planned for the near future. Even now, it is possible to conduct high quality studies using archival data alone. Along with the growth in data, there is naturally a corresponding increased need for easier ways to find and view existing observations. Additionally, the established importance of multiwavelength approaches presents another challenge that access tools must address. In response to these and other related needs, we present an initial conception and zeroth order implementation of one example of such a tool. At the Chandra Data Archive, we have started developing the prototype of a web service to access a constructed database (DB) of Chandra observations annotated with SIMBAD (Wenger et al. 2000) objects located within the field of view (FOV) of the observations. The idea is to leverage the well vetted, encyclopedic compilation of SIMBAD objects and corresponding properties to expand what we can currently offer in terms of Chandra data and how they can be searched. Recognizing that the interface may be comparable in importance to the data store, we also explore ideas for search input features that help bridge the gap between the natural thought processes of a user and the input requirements of the tool as well as feedback and output that facilitate exploration, including the serendipitous type, of the search space.
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