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Published 2016 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Observatory Archives in the Era of Big Data: Perspectives from the Spitzer Mission


Community Observatory archives, supporting disparate data sets, have traditionally been fundamentally different than homogeneous survey archives. Technological advances in the past decade, particularly with respect to the ease of connectivity, are blurring the lines between observatory archives and large sky surveys. Archives are no longer monolithic repositories of data but instead are portals for data and services as part of the broader scientific landscape. If starting today we would approach the Spitzer archive design with a very different mindset than we did fifteen years ago. We discuss here (1) design lessons learned and the evolution of the archive, (2) the benefits of having the Spitzer archive as a component of IRSA, (3) the value of serving enhanced data sets that are returned to the archive by science teams, and (4) the benefits of connectivity to large survey archives, now and in the future.

Additional Information

© 2017 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The author thanks all of the dedicated scientists and software developers that have contributed to creating the Spitzer and IRSA archives.

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January 14, 2024