Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The WorldWide Telescope: An amazing app

Yesterday I attended an event at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Research Center and learned  about the technologies of the future.

Well, sort of. What I saw was an overview of what Microsoft is doing in the area of R&D– research and development.
Microsoft is planning on sticking around for a while, and they understand that technology is innovation… not a stagnant build-it-once-sell-it-a-million-times type thing, like a paperclip.

This from their Website: “Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. Its goals are to enhance the user experience on computing devices, reduce the cost of writing and maintaining software, and invent novel computing technologies.”

It was an interesting and informative event, and I want to take a minute and thank those folks involved.

* The keynote technology displayed was a program that is available now, and it is pretty amazing — especially when one considers the amount of data that must be accessed — it’s a virtual picture of the universe. And the best part is, you can explore it.
Yes, you can fly to Mars… or Rigel.. or the crab nebula.. or the top of Mt. Rainier here on earth (Virtual Earth is one data source).

“A state-of-the-art combination of software and Web 2.0 services, WorldWide Telescope offers terabytes of high-resolution images, astronomical data, and guided tours that bring the universe to your fingertips.” (again, from Website.)

This isn’t just pictures folks, when you right-click on Mars (for example) and select Properties, you will be offered practically every known fact about Mars. This is an unparalleled learning tool!

The engine behind this is kind of hard to explain; maybe.. real-time, super-advanced PowerPoint? Infinite MSN Maps?
But I don’t have to try to explain it. You can see it for yourself, and I highly suggest you do. Simply stunning.

To read more about the project, click here.
To download it for yourself, click here.

 I found this clip which was a “sneak peak” presented by Roy Gould and Microsoft’s Curtis Wong. It will give you some idea…

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 23, 2008 - Posted by | computers, Internet, PC, software, tech, Web 2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. This is a wonderful tool for teaching children about science. I wish we had this when I was in school.

    Thank you so much sharing it with us!

    Like

    Comment by Janette H. | May 24, 2008 | Reply

  2. Janette–
    I couldn’t agree more. Watching kids as they see this for the first time is.. well, cool.

    Like

    Comment by techpaul | May 24, 2008 | Reply

  3. Explain to me how this is better than Google Sky. Sky doesn’t require installing any software and has been available for quite a while now.

    http://www.google.com/sky/

    Like

    Comment by Anonymous | May 25, 2008 | Reply

  4. Folks–
    The commentor is correct in their facts– Sky and WWT do indeed to similar things; Sky doesn’t require special software (unless you use it with Google Earth); and it was available first. It is a good application. I recommended it here last year.

    However, Sky only lets you look, and it only lets you “zoom in” so close, and doesn’t really provide the data on what you’re looking at, as WWT does.
    I use stronger adjectives than “good” describing the WWT.

    Of course, the “proof is in the pudding”, as they say; and I suggest you give the WWT a “test drive” and see for yourself– compare them side-by-side… which this person clearly did not do.

    Like

    Comment by techpaul | May 25, 2008 | Reply


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