AstroGrid Workshop

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK. 12-14 July 2005

Meeting photo

Registration closed Mon 27 Jun 2005

It may be possible to accept late registrants - please contact Nicholas Walton directly by email -


AstroGrid, currently creating the UK's Virtual Observatory (VO), will be holding a three day workshop aimed at introducing the UK astronomy research community, and in particular those researchers actively involved in observational data analysis activities, to the potential of emerging Virtual Observatory capabilities in supporting scientific research.

The workshop will be led by key scientists and developers of the AstroGrid and related projects. They will introduce the participants (a range of astronomers and application and data specialists) to the key capabilities available to them through the AstroGrid v1.0 and v1.1 system releases. This will include discussion of the applications and data, how to access them, and how to develop both simple and powerful systems to both discover and manipulate data with the applications in the VO.

Participants at the workshop will work together in small teams, aided by AstroGrid staff, deciding upon a simple science case, and bringing together the data and applications required to tackle that case.

The small size of the workshop, some 30 attendees being the maximum, will ensure that all are able to gain a good grounding in the opportunities and techniques available to them through use of AstroGrid and VO systems.

This workshop will be of interest to those astronomers currently involved in data intensive analysis (both night time and solar/stp scientists being welcome). UK eScience PhD students researching in Astronomy or related domains, are especially encouraged to participate in this workshop. Additionally, those astronomers and applications specialists actively developing new algorithms and data services would benefit. Knowledge of programming languages and environments such as C++, C#, Java, Python, and Perl would be useful, although not required.


Participants are invited to register using the Registration Form

There will be a 75 UKP registration fee. This fee will be waived for those applicants currently holding a UK PPARC PhD studentship. The registration includes the cost of lunches and refreshments, but not the workshop dinner.

To register please submit the registration form. No registrations will be accepted after Jun 27 2005 (extended registration deadlne).

Note: the number of registered participants to the workshop is limited by space constraints to 30 people.

Registration is NOT confirmed until you receive an email confirmation from the Workshop organisers: please do not FAX your payment form to us until you have received confirmation of attendance by email

UPDATE: 20050707: If not paid in advance, we request that you make your payment in cash or by cheque at the IoA. Judith Moss will be on hand during the first day of the meeting.

Attendees: Participants and Tutors

The full list of participants, including a the names of the tutors and presentors is given at AgJul05Attendees. This page also lists the division of attendees into the workgroups A, B, C, D.

Pre-Workshop Preparation

All attendees are encouraged to complete a little background preparation before attending the workshop. The Pre-Meet wiki page gives this list of activities.

At the Meeting: The Workgroups

During the meeting four workgroups were formed - these pages give a log of the the work carried out by:

Workbench configuration instructions for the workgroups can be found here.

If you are a longtime user of the workbench and are now having connection problems, you may find the script and instructions AgJul05WorkbenchChange[here]] helpful.

Programme and Supporting Material

The workshop agenda is as follows:

Date/Time What Who Paperwork Location
Tues 12 July 2005
08.30 Registration coffee available from 08.30 CA
09.00 Session 1: Introduction LT
09.00-09.10 Welcome AndyLawrence   LT
09.10-09.20 Meeting goals NicholasWalton [.pdf] [.sxi] LT
09.20-09.40 Science with AstroGrid NicholasWalton Abstract [.pdf] [.sxi] LT
09-40-10.00 AstroGrid Infrastructure KeithNoddle Abstract LT
10.00-10.30 Open Session: What do the attendees think a VO is? NicholasWalton [.pdf] [.sxi] LT
10.30-11.00 coffee CA
11.00 Session 2: The AstroGrid System LT
11.00-11.20 Using the portal: a gentle introduction NicholasWalton Abstract [.pdf] [[sxi] LT
11.20-11.40 Introduction to the query builder AnitaRichards Abstract [.pdf] [.sxi] LT
11.40-12.00 Introduction to the workflow builder EduardoGonzalez [.ppt] LT
12.00-12.20 Solar and STP, specific issues SilviaDalla [.sxi] [.pdf] LT
12.20-12.30 Time for questions     LT
12.30-13.45 Buffet Lunch     CA
13.45 Session 3: Setting the Workgroups LT
13.45-14.00 Practical Experience with PHP, Perl and WebServices RichardMcMahon Abstract LT
14.00-15.30 Set the workgroups & define science problems AgJul05Attendees AgJul05WorkGroups List of Science Cases LT
15.30-16.00 Tea     CA
16.00 Session 4: Workflows and Applications LT
16.00-16.20 Introduction to Publishing Applications PaulHarrison Abstract [.ppt] LT
16.20-16.40 Astrogrid Workbench NoelWinstanley [.sxi] [.pdf] LT
16.40-17.20 Overview of Client applications for Astrogrid AnitaRichards MarkTaylor Abstract [.pdf] [.sxi] LT
17.20-17.30 Time for questions     LT
Weds 13 July 2005
09.00-09:20 Astrogrid Workflow Overview NoelWinstanley [.sxi] [.pdf] LT
09.20-10.50 Practical session 1: running a simple workflow & query LT
    NicholasWalton, EduardoGonzalez [.pdf] [[sxi]    
  VO stds: Grid/Web Services, DAL SIA, SSA
10.50-11.20 Coffee     CA
11.20-12.50 Practical session 2: client applications and analysis tools LT
    AnitaRichards, SilviaDalla, JonathanTedds      
  VO stds: UCDs, VOTable, VOQL
12.50-13.00 Group Photo     Outside LT
13.00-14.15 Buffet lunch     CA
14.15 Workgroups session 1
14.15-15.30 Workgroup A: begin science problem     LT
  Workgroup B: begin science problem     OM
  Workgroup C: begin science problem     LA
  Workgroup D: begin science problem     TR
15.30-16.00 Tea      
16.00 Workgroups session 2
16.00-17.45 Workgroup A: continue     LT
  Workgroup B: continue     OM
  Workgroup C: continue     LA
  Workgroup D: continue     TR
Thurs 14 July 2005
09.00 Workgroups session 3
09.00-10.30 Workgroup A: continue     LT
  Workgroup B: continue     OM
  Workgroup C: continue     LA
  Workgroup D: continue     TR
10.30-11.00 Coffee      
11.00 Workgroups session 4
11.00-12.30 Workgroup A: finish work on science problem     LT
  Workgroup B: finish     OM
  Workgroup C: finish     LA
  Workgroup D: finish     TR
12.30-13.30 Buffet lunch     CA
13.30 Workgroups session 5: demo of solutions developed LT
13.30-15.30 Preparing for demo then 20 min demos from each group     LT
15.30-16.00 Tea     CA
16.00 Session 5: Lessons learned and Next Steps LT
16.00-16.45 Lessons learned: feedback from the workgroups     LT
16.45-17.15 Next Steps: further usage of AstroGrid     LT
17.15-17.30 Meeting Summary and Closing Remarks NicholasWalton   LT


  • LT: Hoyle Sackler Lecture Theatre: this is located in the main Hoyle Building
  • OM: Observatory Meeting Room: Located in the Observatory building, turn right on entering the building, ground floor
  • LA: Observatory: Library Room A: Located in the Observatory building, turn right on entering the building, ground floor
  • TR: Observatory Terminal Room: Located in the Observatory building, turn left on entering the building, and on the first floor.
  • CA: Hoyle building reception area: outside the sackler lecture theatre


All users with their own laptops will be able to connect to the IoA network via ethernet during the workgroup sessions. Those without laptops will be given a temporary guest account.

During the Hoyle lecture theatre sessions, a wireless network is available for use by those with wireless equipped laptops - details of how to connect to this will be given at the meeting.

Refreshments and Lunches

A buffet lunch will be served in the Hoyle building reception area each day of the meeting. Coffee and/or tea will be available at breaks. Water will be available during sessions.


  • VOQL: Virtual Observatory Query Language
  • VOTable:
  • DAL: Data Access Layer
  • SIA: Simple Image Access
  • SSA: Simple Spectral Access
  • UCD: Uniform Content Descriptor

Post Workshop Support

It is anticipated that there will be a limited amount of support available after the workshop for those participants wishing to further develop the work that they have created during the workshop. Details at AgJul05PostMeet


The workshop will be held at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.

Travel directions are given at


Accommodation is available in local College accommodation, or a wide range of local hotels. The cambridge Tourist office maintains a comprehensive list of hotels at

We ave reserved a small number of rooms at New Hall College (a short walk from the IoA). These are at UKP 60/night with breakfast and are ensuite. If you wish to reserve one please complete the relevant section in the registration form.

Please note that accommodation will be provided free of charge to PPARC eScience PhD students and also to PPARC PhD students who are in at least their second year of study (thus commenced 1 Oct 2003 or earlier). (NB: subject to accommodation availability).

Please contact Judith Moss ( if you have difficulties with booking accommodation.

Workshop Dinner

Dinner will be from 19.30 - 22.30 on the evening of Weds 13 July. The venue will be the Plough Inn in the village of Coton just outside Cambridge (see map)

There will be a coach organised with pickups at New Hall (leaving 19.00 from outside New Hall main entrance on the main (on the otherside of the Huntingdon Road - look out for a double decker bus)), and the IoA (19.15 from the carpark near the APM building) before arriving the Plough Inn (2 High Street, Coton, Cambs: tel: 01954 210489). The coach will leave on the return route departing at 22.30 calling at the above stops in reverse order. At the registration desk we'll give out a map showing the coach pickup points.

On Tuesday morning we'll ask you to buy your dinner ticket (if you haven' already done so at registration) (UKP 25, payment by cash, cheque from a UK Bank account made payable to the University of Cambridge or less preferred, visa or mastercard). At this time you'll also be able to make your menu selection:

  • Starters: choose from:
    • Fresh soup of the day
    • Chicken Liver Parfait
    • Goat Cheese Crostine
  • Main Course
    • Lamb Shank
    • Coq au Vin
    • Beer Battered Haddock
    • Mediterranean Vegetable Tower (Vegetarian choice)
    • Penne Pasta (Vegeratrian choice)
  • Puddings
    • Lemon Merangue Roulade
    • Sticky Toffee Pudding
    • Chocolate Torte
    • Ice Cream

Getting Home

There will be a sign up sheet where you can give details of times required for taxis to the airport, railway station, etc, on the front reception desk in the Hoyle building. Our receptionist will then make the necessary booking for you.

Contact Details

The IoA reception can be reached on 01223 337523, whilst the conference administrator, Judith Moss, is at 01223 337521.

AstroGrid, Project Scientist & Chair, Organising Committee

-- NicholasWalton - 12 Jul 2005

Topic revision: r43 - 2005-07-28 - 10:16:00 - NicholasWalton
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