catsHTM: A Tool for Fast Accessing and Cross-matching Large Astronomical Catalogs

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Fast access to large catalogs is required for some astronomical applications. Here we introduce the catsHTM tool, consisting of several large catalogs reformatted into HDF5-based file format, which can be downloaded and used locally. To allow fast access, the catalogs are partitioned into hierarchical triangular meshes and stored in HDF5 files. Several tools are provided to perform efficient cone searches at resolutions spanning from a few arc-seconds to degrees, within a few milliseconds time. The first released version includes the following catalogs (by alphabetical order): 2MASS, 2MASS extended sources, AKARI, APASS, Cosmos, DECaLS/DR5, FIRST, GAIA/DR1, GAIA/DR2, GALEX/DR6Plus7, HSC/v2, IPHAS/DR2, NED redshifts, NVSS, Pan-STARRS1/ DR1, PTF photometric catalog, ROSAT faint source, SDSS sources, SDSS/DR14 spectroscopy, SkyMapper, Spitzer/SAGE, Spitzer/IRAC galactic center, UCAC4, UKIDSS/DR10, VST/ATLAS/DR3, VST/KiDS/DR3, WISE and XMM. We provide Python code that allows to perform cone searches, as well as MATLAB code for performing cone searches, catalog cross-matching, general searches, as well as load and create these catalogs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075002
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number989
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Catalogs – methods
  • Color figures
  • Data analysis – surveys Online material

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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