The Virtual Solar Observatory: Still a Small Box

J.B. Gurman NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, R. Bogart Stanford University, A. Davey Southwest Research Institute, G. Dimitoglou Hood College and NASA GSFC , F. Hill National Solar Observatory, J. Hourclé NASA GSFC and L-3 GSI, P. Martens Montana State University, I. Suárez-Sola National Solar Observatory, K. Tian Stanford University, S. Wampler National Solar Observatory, and K. Yoshimira Montana State University

Two and a half years after a design study began, and a year and a half after development commenced, version 1.0 of the Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO) was released at the 2004 Fall AGU meeting. Although internal elements of the VSO have changed, the basic design has remained the same, reflecting the team's belief in the importance of a simple, robust mechanism for registering data provider holdings, initiating queries at the appropriate provider sites, aggregating the responses, allowing the user to iterate before making a final selection, and enabling the delivery of data directly from the providers. In order to make the VSO transparent, lightweight, and portable, the developers employed XML for the registry, SOAP for communication between a VSO instance and data services, and HTML for the graphic user interface (GUI's). We discuss the internal data model, the API, and user responses to various trial GUIÕs as typical design issues for any virtual observatory. We also discuss the role of the "small box" of data search, identification, and delivery services provided by the VSO in the larger, Sun-Solar System Connection virtual observatory (VxO) scheme.

Web curator: Joseph B. Gurman
Responsible NASA official: Joseph B. Gurman, Facility Scientist, Solar Data Analysis Center
[e-mail address: gurman<at>gsfc<dot>nasa<gov>]
+1 301 286-4767

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Solar Physics Branch / Code 612.1
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Last revised 2005 February 10 - J.B. Gurman

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