Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
As data collection and computers expand their capabilities, modelling changes its characteristics. Not only the purpose of modelling becomes multiple, but thresholds are reached beyond which the best suited methods change. In view of the expected impact of the GAIA mission, the possibilities of modelling the Milky Way and spiral galaxy dynamics over the next decade are here discussed, taking the past development of galactic astronomy as a guide.
(Online publication February 15 2011)