NCSA Astronomy Digital Image Library: From data archiving to data publishing

Raymond L. Plante, Richard M. Crutcher, Robert E. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The NCSA Astronomy Digital Image Library (ADIL)2, a repository providing astronomers with research-quality images over the Web, represents the final stage of the data-research pipeline that begins at the telescope and ends with the publication of scientific results. By examining the ADIL's mission and architecture, we will highlight some of the challenges arising from the development of a scientific data library. After an overview of the motivation and context surrounding the Library, we will present the two faces of its user interface: one for those looking for data, and one for those wishing to add to the Library's collection. We will then outline the design of the Library's back-end system, describing some of the technical choices made during its development. Finally, we will examine the role of the ADIL in the evolving life cycle of scientific data, highlighting two important issues: interoperability and data publishing. Today, the data life cycle is almost entirely electronic; thus, the scientific data library becomes a critical part of the solution to the `Data Crisis' in astronomy: keeping up with the exploding growth of new data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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