Web services can tie together scientific data

by Andy Oram

Related link: http://arxiv.org/abs/cs/0208014

Web services can fill a bigger social need than presenting customers
with the prices of the newest gadget. In this article, "Web Services
for the Virtual Observatory," they potentially open up new
possibilities for collaboration and data sharing among scientists.

Leaving aside the details of this intensive and heavy-weight project,
I took two interesting points from the article:

  1. In the scientific world, there's so much data that it has
    to be distributed; nobody can collect all the data
    relevant to their own work.

  2. Most of that data is stored in a format appropriate to some
    specialized tool. Why not offer the APIs of that tool to
    remote systems?