CAOM-2.0: The Inevitable Evolution of a Data Model

Patrick Dowler (National Research Council Canada)


The Common Archive Observation Model (CAOM) is the core data model used across all collections at the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) for several years. This model supports data discovery via web-based user interfaces and International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) compliant Table Access Protocol (TAP) and Simple Image Access (SIA) web services. We characterise and serve a broad range of content using CAOM-1.0: images, spectra, datacubes, and timeseries from thirteen telescopes (both ground- and space-based).

CAOM-1.0 was designed to balance correctness with practicality: it was a data model that had to work for the existing and anticipated data at CADC. As with all data models, there are shortcomings: unanticipated structuring of data that is hard to describe clearly and unnecessary complexity in applications that consume the metadata from the model. In CAOM-2.0, we are able to characterise these new data structures, improve the clarity and usefulness of the model, and retain the practicality that has made CAOM a success within the CADC architecture.

Paper ID: P037

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