Venustiano Soancatl Aguilar

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Venustiano Soancatl Aguilar received the B.Sc. degree in computer science
from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, México in 2001, and
the MSc degree in computer science from the Instituto Nacional de Astrofı́sica,
Óptica y Electrónica, Tonantzintla, Puebla, México in 2003. From 2006 to
2014, he was an Associate Professor in computer science at the Universidad
del Istmo, Oaxaca, México. He received a PhD degree in computer
science at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands in 2018. Currently, he is working at the Center for Information Technology at the University of Groningen as a Data Scientist. His interests include development of scientific software, data analysis and visualization, in particular, astronomical data visualization in domes.


University of Groningen


Data scientist



A Tool to Explore Astronomical Databases and Transform Data into Planetarium Formats
Venustiano Soancatl Aguilar

The Virtual Observatory can provide a valuable source of material
for presentations in digital planetaria. However, as discussed in a
previous paper, importing data from the Virtual Observatory can be a
time consuming process. Data must be downloaded manually from a web
portal or programatically by using an API (Application Program
Interface). The data must then be transformed into one of the
formats used in digital planetaria: this can be done by ad-hoc
scripts, but writing them takes time and is prone to error. The
Data2Dome consortium, provides an excellent source of data for
digital planetaria, but does not provide a tool to access archival
catalogues in a flexible way. Here we present a tool that can
accelerate the transformation of astronomical data into formats that
can be used by systems commonly used in digital planetaria. The tool
consist of a graphical user interface that gives the ability to
explore and query a range of different astronomical databases, such
as KiDS, GAIA and SDSS. It can store queries in a database, and
transform the data into appropriate planetarium formats. Prototypes
of this tool have been used to prepare data for use in presentations
in the Dot Live Planetarium in Groningen. It has been shown to be a
convenient method of preparing presentations by professional
astronomers on specialist subjects.

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