AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 13. Data Discovery Tools and Services
Display, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[13.06] Application of XML to Journal Table Archiving

E. J. Shaya, J. H. Blackwell, J. E. Gass, V. E. Kargatis, G. L. Schneider, J. L. Weiland, K. D. Borne (Raytheon ITSS), R. A. White, C. Y. Cheung (NASA/GSFC)

The Astronomical Data Center (ADC) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a major archive for machine-readable astronomical data tables. Many ADC tables are derived from published journal articles. Article tables are reformatted to be machine-readable and documentation is crafted to facilitate proper reuse by researchers. The recent switch of journals to web based electronic format has resulted in the generation of large amounts of tabular data that could be captured into machine-readable archive format at fairly low cost. The large data flow of the tables from all major North American astronomical journals (a factor of ~100 greater than the present rate at the ADC) necessitates the development of rigorous standards for the exchange of data between researchers, publishers, and the archives.

We have selected a suitable markup language that can fully describe the large variety of astronomical information contained in ADC tables. The eXtensible Markup Language XML is a powerful internet-ready documentation format for data. It provides a precise and clear data description language that is both machine- and human-readable. It is rapidly becoming the standard format for business and information transactions on the internet and it is an ideal common metadata exchange format.

By labelling, or "marking up", all elements of the information content, documents are created that computers can easily parse. An XML archive can easily and automatically be maintained, ingested into standard databases or custom software, and even totally restructured whenever necessary. Structuring astronomical data into XML format will enable efficient and focused search capabilities via off-the-shelf software.

The ADC is investigating XML's expanded hyperlinking power to enhance connectivity within the ADC data/metadata and developing XSL display scripts to enhance display of astronomical data.

The ADC XML Definition Type Document can be viewed at http://messier.gsfc.nasa.gov/dtdhtml/DTD-TREE.html

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://messier.gsfc.nasa.gov/dtdhtml/DTD-TREE.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: edward.j.shaya.1@gsfc.nasa.gov

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