Data Central uses cookies to make your browsing experience better. By using Data Central you agree to its use of cookies. Learn more I agree

Astronomical Data Archives Meeting 2019

March 25, 2019 by S. O'Toole
Aug. 2, 2019, 4:45 a.m. S. O'Toole
Data Central will host an Astronomical Data Archives meeting in Sydney on August 5-8 2019.


Data management is becoming a greater challenge in the era of large surveys from telescopes such as Gaia, LSST and the various SKA pathfinder projects. We are well and truly in the petabyte regime, and with the SKA on the horizon, we are not far from the exabyte regime. Users still need to access these data to do science.

The goals of the meeting are therefore to determine what areas of data archives we can collaborate on, and where we can share information, data and code. There is a lot of great work being done here with new technologies (as seen at the ADASS and IVOA meetings), and it would be great to avoid duplicating effort. And of course we’re all interested in interoperability.


  • Exploring different technologies for storage and querying (SQL, noSQL, Hadoop, Elasticsearch, etc, what works and what doesn't)
  • Beyond Data Storage (What services should archives offer and what do they currently?)
  • Interoperability (incl. IVOA)
  • Tools (incl. access control and code-to-the-data)
  • User Interfaces and User Experience
  • Hardware (incl. cloud vs hosted vs hybrid)

The meeting will be a mix of talks, Birds of a Feather sessions, mini-workshops, a networking session, and a discussion about things to take away from the meeting and possibly report on at a future meeting. We are also planning a poster session, however the posters would display the full stack of a participant’s data archive rather than research or projects.

Code of Conduct

As part of our commitment to inclusion and diversity, this meeting has a Code of Conduct. Please read it; by registering for the meeting you are agreeing to abide by this code.


A list of participants for the meeting can be found here.


Registration is now closed.


Industry Presentations (NEW)

We are arranging presentations from relevant companies. The idea is to provoke discussion in new directions. Speakers include:


A note about presentations for this meeting: we are hoping to have everyone share their experiences with their system architecture. This means that we would like to hear about:

  • Your system hardware
  • Your software stack
  • The services you currently provide
  • The services that you have in development & any blockages you are facing
  • Things you have tried, but that DID NOT WORK

Please limit your presentation to TEN slides (the talk time is 20 minutes). Multi-participant talks are welcome!


We would like at least one person from your team to create a poster with your hardware and/or your software stack. We will have a dedicated space for these posters.

Posters should be printed in no larger than A0 portrait (841mm x 1189mm).

Birds of a Feather session

There will be one BoF session entitled "Specialized UX in Astronomy", led by Jenn Kotler (MAST/STScI).

UnConference sessions

We will run two UnConference sessions. The topics for the sessions are decided by attendees, with voting on the first two days of the workshop. Here are a list of possible ideas:

  • Git ins and outs
  • User testing best practices
  • Databases in the cloud
  • Running teams

Remember though, if you suggest a topic, you'll be expected to at least lead the discussion! Please email Simon with ideas!


The meeting will be held in Sydney, at the Australian Astronomical Optics building of Macquarie University. The address is 105 Delhi Road, North Ryde; see the map below:

Local dining options (new)

We have compiled a non-exhaustive list of dining options nearby the AAO Macquarie building in North Ryde. You can find that list here.

Accommodation options

You can find information on accommodation close to AAO Macquarie on this page. The page also includes information about getting to AAO Macquarie.


The final program can be found at this link.

Organising Committee

Simon O'Toole (AAO/Data Central)

Elizabeth Mannering (AAO/Data Central)

Katrina Sealey (AAO/Data Central)

Lloyd Harischandra (AAO/Data Central)

Nuwanthika Fernando (AAO/Data Central)

Tom Donaldson (Space Telescope/MAST)

March 25, 2019 by S. O'Toole
Aug. 2, 2019, 4:45 a.m. S. O'Toole