AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 10. Data Centers, NVO and Catalogs
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[10.08] Creating an XML representation for science data formats with XDF: cases, design and implementation.

B. Thomas, E. Shaya, Z. Huang, C. Y. Cheung (ADC-GSFC/NASA)

XDF (the eXtensible Data Format) is an XML-based general science data format designed and maintained by the ADC (Astronomical Data Center). XDF may be used to describe both binary and ASCII scientific data and may alternatively serve as an XML wrapper for legacy science data files. The XML heritage of XDF lends it many desirable features including the ability to describe both science data files locally or remotely, to be manipulated by and viewable with a wide variety of XML aware software (including browsers), to have universal validation (via its DTD or schema) and semantic mark-up of data products at all points in the science data cycle.

In this poster we will focus on a major aspect of XDF: its ability to describe existing legacy data formats. XDF may be achieve this by either directly describing the legacy data files and serving as a wrapper or, if greater sophistication and a higher level API is needed, by being extended in an object-oriented fashion to create a new hybrid science data format with the features of the legacy science data format. Either of these approaches can be used with minimal effort to create an XML-based representation for existing science data formats. We anticipate that this ability will allow for greater cost effectiveness in science data processing environments and science data archives because XDF can serve as a standard, extensible data format that can be used and re-used for any type of data in any mission and may serve as a transitional bridge between existing dataformats.

We will present how XDF may generally be used to describe existing legacy data and cover a general outline of the steps needed to extend XDF to easily create your own XML/XDF-based data format. We will present several test cases including FITS and CDF and use them illustrate the problems and abilities of both approaches and to give examples of how to solve specific common problems.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://xml.gsfc.nasa.gov/XDF. 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: shaya@mail630.gsfc.nasa.gov

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