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ADIL– FULL FORM
ADIL – Full Form Astronomy Digital Image Library
What is Astronomy Digital Image Library?
Astronomy Digital Image Library is the NCSA Astronomy Digital Image Library which was developed with support from NASA and the National Science Foundation to address some of the challenges of distributing scientific data over the network. Its specific mission is to collect fully processed astronomical images in FITS format (a standard astronomical image format++-* and make them available to the research community and the interested public via the World Wide Web. The research component itself has two sides, which I will discuss in this story: on the one side, the ADIL allows users to search, browse, and download astronomical images. This can be non-trivial when the images are not in the usual GIF or JPEG formats. On the other side, the ADIL provides researchers with a place to archive and share their fully-processed images with the community by allowing them to add the images to the Library’s collection.
ADIL can be thought of as a place to search for and store data. But it is also a tool that strives to work at a high conceptual level, providing a bridge between data and astronomical ideas. This is accomplished in part through links between the images and other electronic data including, in particular, scientific literature. In fact, today, the majority of current refereed journal literature is available on-line, either as abstracts or full articles. Interconnecting astronomical resources on the network has been the topic of considerable effort within the community which I will discuss in a follow-up story (to appear in the February 1998 issue of D-Lib). With such connections to the scientific literature, the ADIL can be more than just a repository for astronomical images; it can be a part of the presentation of scientific results. Astronomers can now publish scientific data to a level not previously possible. In this way, we hope that the ADIL and resources like it will change the way astronomers do research.
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