Research Article

Earth Science Informatics

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 67-73

First online:

SPASE 2.0: a standard data model for space physics

  • Todd KingAffiliated withInstitute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles Email author 
  • , James ThiemanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 690.1
  • , D. Aaron RobertsAffiliated withNASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 672

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SPASE—for Space Physics Archive Search and Extract—is a group with a charter to promote collaboration and sharing of data for the Space Plasma Physics community. A major activity is the definition of the SPASE Data Model which defines the metadata necessary to describe resources in the broader heliophysics data environment. The SPASE Data Model is primarily a controlled vocabulary with hierarchical relationships and with the ability to form associations between described resources. It is the result of many years of effort by an international collaboration (see http://​www.​spase-group.​org) to unify and improve on existing Space and Solar Physics data models. The genesis of the SPASE group can be traced to 1998 when a small group of individuals saw a need for a data model. Today SPASE has a large international participation from many of the major space research organizations. The design of the data model is based on a set of principles derived from evaluation of the existing heliophysics data environment. The development guidelines for the data model are consistent with ISO-2788 (expanded in ANSI/NISO Z39.19) and the administration for the data model is comparable to that described in the ISO standards ISO-11179 and ISO-20943. Since the release of version 1.0 of the data model in 2005, the model has undergone a series of evolutions. SPASE released version 2.0 of its data model in April 2009. This version presents a significant change from the previous release. It includes the capability to describe a wider range of data products and to describe expert annotations which can be associated with a resource. Additional improvements include an enhanced capability to describe resource associations and a more unified approach to describing data products. Version 2.0 of the SPASE Data Model provides a solid foundation for continued integration of worldwide research activities and the open sharing of data.


SPASE Data model Ontology Vocabulary Heliophysics Space physics Standard