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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 143, 137-143

Search and discovery tools for astronomical on-line resources and services

D. Egret1 - R.J. Hanisch2 - F. Murtagh1,3

Correspondence to:

1 - CDS, Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, UMR 7550, 11 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
2 - Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, U.S.A
3 - School of Computer Science, The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland

Received January 6; accepted January 17, 2000


A growing number of astronomical resources and data or information services are made available through the Internet. However valuable information is frequently hidden in a deluge of non-pertinent or non up-to-date documents. At a first level, compilations of astronomical resources provide help for selecting relevant sites. Combining yellow-page services and meta-databases of active pointers may be an efficient solution to the data retrieval problem. Responses generated by submission of queries to a set of heterogeneous resources are difficult to merge or cross-match, because different data providers generally use different data formats: new endeavors are under way to tackle this problem. We review the technical challenges involved in trying to provide general search and discovery tools, and to integrate them through upper level interfaces.

Key words: astronomical databases: miscellaneous

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