One of the most critical problems in the long-term preservation of digital objects in any domain is the rapid obsolescence of file formats that become outdated in a short time and therefore no longer readable. This problem also affects the field of environmental and earth observation, where it is important that the data collected remain accessible for many years to come. For this purpose, in recent years the attention has been focused on an extremely versatile file format created for the astronomy and astrophysics domain but then spread to other sectors as well: the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS). What exactly is it? What are the characteristics of the FITS format that made it so interesting to be a candidate for adoption in the Environment and Earth Observation (EO) field? Is a format that was created over forty years ago still appropriate for long-term preservation? This paper aims at answering these questions by starting from an analysis of the FITS file format and highlighting its features in order to understand if it is appropriate for the archiving and preservation of data collected by many scientific projects in the EO domain.

The FITS file format for the long-term preservation of digital objects in the Environment and Earth Observation domain / Stefano Allegrezza. - STAMPA. - (2022), pp. 29-47. (Intervento presentato al convegno Knowledge Organization and Management in the Domain of Environment and Earth Observation (KOMEEO) Proceedings of the International KOMEEO Conference 2021 Rende, Italy tenutosi a Rende (CS) nel July 15 202).

The FITS file format for the long-term preservation of digital objects in the Environment and Earth Observation domain

Stefano Allegrezza
2022

Abstract

One of the most critical problems in the long-term preservation of digital objects in any domain is the rapid obsolescence of file formats that become outdated in a short time and therefore no longer readable. This problem also affects the field of environmental and earth observation, where it is important that the data collected remain accessible for many years to come. For this purpose, in recent years the attention has been focused on an extremely versatile file format created for the astronomy and astrophysics domain but then spread to other sectors as well: the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS). What exactly is it? What are the characteristics of the FITS format that made it so interesting to be a candidate for adoption in the Environment and Earth Observation (EO) field? Is a format that was created over forty years ago still appropriate for long-term preservation? This paper aims at answering these questions by starting from an analysis of the FITS file format and highlighting its features in order to understand if it is appropriate for the archiving and preservation of data collected by many scientific projects in the EO domain.
2022
Knowledge Organization and Management in the Domain of Environment and Earth Observation (KOMEEO), Proceedings of the International KOMEEO Conference 2021 Rende, Italy
29
47
The FITS file format for the long-term preservation of digital objects in the Environment and Earth Observation domain / Stefano Allegrezza. - STAMPA. - (2022), pp. 29-47. (Intervento presentato al convegno Knowledge Organization and Management in the Domain of Environment and Earth Observation (KOMEEO) Proceedings of the International KOMEEO Conference 2021 Rende, Italy tenutosi a Rende (CS) nel July 15 202).
Stefano Allegrezza
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/907497
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