What is WorldWide Telescope and why should researchers care?

Presentation Date: 

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Kissimee, FL

AAS Title Page227th AAS Meeting

Abstract: As of 2015, about 20 million people have downloaded the computer program called "WorldWide Telescope," and even more have accessed it via the web, at http://worldwidetelescope.org. But, the vast majority of these millions are not professional astronomers. This talk will explain why WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is also a powerful tool for research astronomers. I will focus on how WWT can be, and is, being built-in to Journals, and into day-to-day research environments. By way of example, I will show how WWT already: allows users to display images, including those in Journals, in the context of multi-wavelength full-sky imagery; allows for the display of which parts of the Sky have been studied, when, how, and for what reason (see http://adsass.org); allows, via right-click, immediate access to ADS, SIMBAD, and other professional research tools. I will also highlight new work, currently in development, that is using WWT as a tool for observation planning, and as a display mode for advanced high-dimensional data visualization tools, like glue (see http://glueviz.org). WWT is now well-known in the education community (see http://wwtambassadors.org), so the explicit goal of this talk will be to make researchers more aware of its full power. I will explain how WWT transitioned, over 8 years, from a Microsoft Research project to its current open-source state (see https://github.com/WorldWideTelescope), and I will conclude with comments on the future of WWT, and its relationship to how research should be carried out in the future (see http://tinyurl.com/aas-potf).

Dataverse link to all materials, including Keynote slides

Reference with doi for this work:  Goodman, Alyssa, 2020, "What is WorldWide Telescope and why should researchers care?", https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/LZBWZK, Harvard Dataverse, V1