Monday, November 10, 2008


We are continuing organising events in Glasgow. After the ESSIR2007 summer school and the ECIR2008 conference, we will be organising the second Practical Semantic Astronomy Workshop (SEMAST 2009) from 2nd to 5th March 2009.

The Practical Semantic Astronomy 2009 is the second in a series of workshops first held at Caltech in February 2008. The workshop brings together experts from a broad range of disciplines using semantic technologies, alongside practitioners experimenting with these techniques, to address current problems in astroinformatics.

Our involvement in the organisation of this workshop is under the auspices of the Explicator project, where we have been working with astronomers and physicists on developing techniques to provide intelligent access to multiple sources. The Explicator project supports the efforts of the Virtual Observatory community.

The Virtual Observatory is a loose planet-wide collaboration of astronomy computing projects, aiming to make available the high-volume and rich data of astronomy. Although astronomical data is generally well-described, it is very dispersed, so that there is a substantial data-discovery problem, making it fertile ground for the sorts of semantic approaches applied with such success in other disciplines.

The Explicator project aims to bridge the gap between information retrieval and semantic web technologies in a domain-specific application. The SEMAST 2009 workshop is a continuation of this effort. We hope to see many of you in Glasgow.

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