AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 9. Virtual Observatories and Online Resources
Poster, Monday, January 6, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[9.02] Topic Maps for semantic access to the Virtual Observatory

A. A. Mahabal, S. G. Djorgovski (Astronomy, Caltech), R. E. Williams (CACR, Caltech)

Virtual Observatory has been taking shape through the effort of many teams from all over the world. From efforts dealing with individual catalogs and groups of catalogs we are moving to allow access to any catalog transparently based on just the various keywords in the catalogs e.g. Uniform Column Descriptors and Published Subject Indexes. The evolving semantic structure needs tools capable of sieving through the large amount of metadata and return the proverbial needle in the haystack. We describe the use of Topic Maps as such a tool. Topic Maps can be adapted to any ontology quickly thereby not getting outdated as the Virtual Observatory evolves. We will demonstrate the use by way of the Topic Maps that we have constructed using existing PSIs and outline how this work can be expanded to wider use scenarios encompassing many aspects of the Virtual Observatory. This work is supported in part by the NASA AISRP program and the NSF ITR program.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: aam@astro.caltech.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.