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Documentation for on-line access

paulrodman's picture
paulrodman
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Joined: 2011-05-10

I'm the author of Astroplanner (http://www.astroplanner.net). Previous versions of this application (from many years ago) would access AAVSO info by means of downloading text files from the AAVSO website, submitting observations via e-mail, and so on. Unfortunately none of that works any more. I'm about to update my application to support AAVSO observers, but I can't seem to find any API information for accessing the AAVSO databases.

Do such APIs exist? Looking over this forum I'm guessing they must. Does one access the data via SQL or via HTTP GET commands? Both methods seem to be hinted at.

Any information gratefully received.

Paul Rodman

accessing AAVSO data remotely
Aaron Price's picture
Aaron Price
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Joined: 2010-05-07

Hi, Paul.

There is no standard AAVSO API at this time. We keep wanting to create one and it is always on our "to do" list. However, other things creep up and always seem to push this further down the list. Idealy, we want to create an interface that allows for SQL/ADQL access to the database withput in VOTable format. But that is probably 1-2 years away, realistically.*

With that said, there are work arounds. First, we can setup special access that is restricted to you and your software. We did something similar with VStar. Click here to read a little about it. If you want to go this route, e-mail us and we'll put you in contact with Doc, who can set it up for you.

Another route is to just call our web scripts using your software and then parse the output. This is not as robust since future changes to the software may break your code. However, we are trying to make any changes as friendly as possible. For example, we try to add features instead of removing/changing behavior of older features. But, still, it's a risk. We have a web page written here which describes how to get star charts from VSP using the GET method. Most of our online scripts will work with the same GET method, but the variable names may change (yes, this will be fixed witrh a real API). Again, contact us and we can give you details if you want to go this route with one of our other, non-VSP, scripts.

I'm sorry we dont' have a better answer!

Aaron

*If we get any of our pending grants approved we will have the funds to do it much sooner. They all have a line item to fund an AAVSO API.

VSX HTTP GET Specification
RWG's picture
RWG
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Joined: 2010-08-01

There is also a HTTP GET Specification for VSX on the homepage.

CS
Wolfgang

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484