SV and IAU Thesaurus
thomas at astro.umd.edu
Wed Sep 19 10:14:41 PDT 2007
Yes, I should have referenced your earlier email, but I am
pushing on other projects at the moment (please forgive me!)
I certainly wasn't try to present using the IAU Thesaurus for
SV as something which hadn't been discussed on this list prior
(in fact its mentioned on this list in this context almost 2 years ago..)
On Wednesday 19 September 2007, Andrea Preite Martinez wrote:
> I repeat here what I said yesterday and Saturday:
> Tue, 18 Sep.:
> The point of the draft under discussion is not to include all possible
> astronomical terms in the SV, but to be able to express any possible
> astronomical term, locally defined, in terms of standard SV tokens
So...are you saying that the terms in the IAU Thesaurus are too
specific? It also almost sounds like you are looking for a grammar
as well as a vocabulary... But as I said earlier, why not just
cherry pick the IAU? As a first cut..if the group feels that its too
large..then simply take the broadest terms in the TREX files?
But I don't find size to be a problem, but rather a bonus, as this
would allow for greater labeling power for the end-user. I would
vote for inclusion of all relevant terms in the IAU to the SV. In
fact, it would be better IMO, to simply create a SKOS IAU file,
and then base the SV off of that (the SV would import the IAU
defs, and then supply the missing ones that the VO needs.. as
you write below, such as Gamma Ray Bursts..)
> Saturday, 15 Sep.:
> Astronomers had and have their astronomical vocabularies. They had the
> IAU thesaurus, discontinued in '95 (or '97?) for the retirement of the
> If you are looking for a Standard Astronomical Vocabulary, please
> start from there:
> you'll find also basic relationships as broader, narrower, etc.
> between terms. If a SAV is what you want to build (but is this within
> the scope of the IVOA?), just refresh the IAU thesaurus with the
> terms and concepts that appeared in the last 10 years. Gamma Ray
> Bursts, to quote one.
> By the way, the astronomers didn't care much for a Thesaurus,
> otherwise it wouldn't had be abandoned 10 years ago.
Archiving/Library work is in Astronomy has generally been
under funding pressure for my entire professional life (10yrs+).
I'm not surprised that there was no money to continue the
maintenance of this, but that should not undercut its relevance,
or value. From my reading of the notes on the Thesaurus, I
understand this was a comprehensive, multiple year effort by
many astronomers around the world. We would be foolish to not
leverage the manpower already invested in this work. I doubt
that Astronomy has changed so much in 10 years that its definitions
are badly out of date and unusable.
More information about the semantics