The vision of the Virtual Observatory (VO) is to allow astronomical datasets and other resources to interoperate seamlessly. The VO resources are provided by different organisations spread all over the world, but they feel as if they are inside the user’s computer. The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) is an organisation that debates and agrees the technical standards that are needed to make the VO possible. It also acts as a focus for the VO vision, a framework for discussing and sharing VO ideas and technology, and a body for promoting and publicising the VO [http://www.ivoa.net/]. The IVOA Interoperability Meetings provide a semi-annual venue for discussion and development of Virtual Observatory standards and VO-based applications, and are open to those with an interest in utilizing the VO infrastructure and tools in support of observatory operations and/or astronomical research.
See also: Sexten Center for Astrophysics (SCfA) meeting page.