August 16, 2011

Open Exoplanet Data on CouchDB

I haven’t been able to do much coding lately. Summer has been busy and my laptop broke. There’s so much I want to do for the field of exoplanetology but i just couldn’t even start without a usable open database platform.

Anything practically useful begins with data and the truth is, we have a great amount of exoplanet data floating around already in all these exoplanet catalogs, but they’re just lying there, and not really being maximized to their full potential.

How can we enable the the wider use of exoplanet data in more useful and practical applications? It begins by providing an open access to that data and a programmatic way of accessing all that exoplanet data.

CouchDB has been my choice due to its advantage of replication and flexibility. I cannot even begin to list down all the many wonderful advantages of using couchDB for an open exoplanet data source that anyone can build upon.

Exoplanet data that is inside a couchDB database can be used and re-used via typical web standards, primarilly javascript. It spews out data in JSON format and this allows anyone to create engaging websites, games, and apps atop all that data. I am even positive that couchDB can be used for scientific analysis of a huge exoplanet data to find patterns and trends, and create dynamic visualizations from it.

There doesn’t seem to be any couchDB implementation of exoplanets yet, so I am posting this to start off the movement in this area of exoplanetology. Watch out for this space.

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