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Paper: AstroData Descriptors: A Generic Metadata Interface
Volume: 495, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV (ADASS XXIV)
Page: 555
Authors: Anderson, K.; Labrie, K.; Simpson, M.; Turner, J.
Abstract: Gemini Observatory has developed a dataset abstraction framework called AstroData. The framework is generic in that it defines a consistent abstraction layer for any telescope's observational and calibration data. As part of this framework, a system of what are called dataset “descriptors” are implemented to provide a generic and completely consistent interface to metadata of any dataset accommodated by an AstroData package. These descriptors are explicitly defined for a particular type of dataset. AstroData further defines a “built-in” dataset typing system. Because metadata vary across observatories and instruments, AstroData type determination builds the descriptors interface dynamically once the dataset types have been asserted. Descriptors are implemented as logically named methods on an instance of AstroData and as such, may be defined to return, not only metadata directly, but also calculated metadata derivatives. Descriptors always return a DescriptorValue object, a container object with all the pertinent metadata requested, regardless of its initial form or primitive data type.
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