Packaging data as a dataset

The dataset framework is designed to be as generic as possible, and should be able to accommodate any collection of observations so long as the source observatory has an observatory interface (obs) package in the LSST software stack. This page describes how to create and maintain a dataset.

Creating a dataset repository

Datasets are Git LFS repositories with a particular directory and file structure. The easiest way to create a new dataset is to create an LFS repository, and add a copy of the dataset template repository as the initial commit. This will create empty directories for all data and will add placeholder files for dataset metadata.

Organizing the data

  • The raw and calib directories contain science and calibration data, respectively. The directories may have any internal structure.
  • The templates directory contains an LSST Butler repository containing processed images usable as templates. Template files must be TemplateCoadd files produced by a compatible version of the LSST science pipeline.
  • The refcats directory contains one or more tar files, each containing one astrometric or photometric reference catalog in HTM shard format.

The templates and reference catalogs need not be all-sky, but should cover the combined footprint of all the raw images.

Documenting datasets

Datasets provide package-level documentation in their doc directory. An example is provided in the dataset template repository.

The dataset’s package-level documentation should include:

  • the source of the data (e.g., a particular survey with specific cuts applied)
  • whether or not optional files such as image differencing templates are provided
  • the expected use of the data

Configuring dataset ingestion and use

Each dataset’s config directory should contain a task config file named, which specifies a DatasetIngestConfig. The file typically contains filenames or file patterns specific to the dataset. In particular, the default config ignores reference catalogs, so the config file should provide a dict from catalog names to their tar files.

Each config directory may contain a task config file named, specifying an lsst.ap.pipe.ApPipeConfig. The file contains pipeline flags specific to the dataset, such as the available reference catalogs (both their names and configuration) or the type of template provided to ImageDifferenceTask.

Configuration settings specific to an instrument rather than a dataset should be handled with ordinary configuration override files.

Registering an observatory package

The observatory package must be named in two files:

  • ups/<package>.table must contain a line reading setupRequired(<obs-package>). For example, for DECam data this would read setupRequired(obs_decam). If any other packages are required to process the data, they should have their own setupRequired lines.
  • repo/_mapper must contain a single line with the name of the obs package’s mapper class. For DECam data this is lsst.obs.decam.DecamMapper.