WWT Workshop at the 2015 Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS)

WorldWide Telescope: Exploring and Sharing Science @ DPS 2105

Gaylord National Harbor, Annapolis 3

This workshop is for people who are interested in learning about how to use WorldWide Telescope (WWT) in the various aspects of their research, instruction and outreach.  WWT is a powerful visualization tool that enables interactive exploration and can be used to create tours for playback.  Tours are like videos that run in the Windows desktop client or in an HTML5 browser.  Unlike a video, a tour can be paused and the viewpoint can be changed by the user in order to see context or related data.  Tours can be rendered out to videos as well to include in talks or presentations.

The workshop will start out by showing how to get your data into WWT.   This includes getting planetary imaging, shape files, spacecraft trajectories, surface traverse trails etc. into the system.  It will then go over how to use WWT to create tours and videos that can be used in various aspects of scientific life.  Use cases include making video abstracts for publishing, creating tours and shows to use in outreach and for education.  The educational uses include both making tours for class instruction as well as having students use WWT to create tours demonstrating their knowledge of planetary science.

If you are planning on attending the workshop, it is suggested that at the least you visit the website: http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/ and review some of the materials in the Getting Started section – http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/Learn/.  If you have a Windows laptop, you should download the free application from the website so that you can follow along.  There is an HTML5 Web Client that implements a subset of the desktop client which you can use if you don’t have a Windows machine at the meeting.

Workshop Materials

WWT for Researchers (PDF)

WWT Developer Workshop

This WorldWide Telescope (WWT) workshop is intended to help developers and advanced users who know some coding to learn how to contribute to the development of the WWT open source code base.


This workshop will take place in three locations connected by video conferencing: Microsoft Research-Redmond, WA, Microsoft Research-New England in Cambridge, MA and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Urbana, IL.  The workshop staff will primarily be in Redmond, WA and Cambridge, MA locations.  Because the workshops are across three time zones, will be starting a little early for the Redmond location and finishing later for the Cambridge location.

9:00 am – 6:30 pm (Cambridge, MA)

Note, 9-10 am hour in Cambridge the group will meet to discuss the current state of WWT.  Because of the time difference other locations will not participate.

9:00 am – 6:30 pm (Champaign-Urbana, IL)
7:00 am – 4:30 pm (Redmond, WA)

What you will learn at the WWT workshop

  • Big picture of clients, www.worldwidetelescope.org, federated data.
  • Back-end services and tools.
  • LCAPI for data ingest and control
  • Windows Desktop Client
  • HTML5 Web Controls (custom interactives)
  • HTML5 Web Client

The technologies vary depending on the underlying parts:

  • Desktop client (C#, .NET)
  • HTML5, including web controls and web client (JavaScript, MVC5, CSS)
  • Interface using LCAPI: favorite programming languages talking to LCAPI

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is targeted at potential WorldWide Telescope developers.  This workshop will get people up to speed with the WWT eco-system including windows and web clients and backend services and tools.  This workshop will be valuable for people with a variety of developer backgrounds.  Below are a few of the ways you might want to get involved:

  • Building data exploration experiences around WWT using LCAPI.
  • Changing the Desktop Client to add some functionality, fix bugs.
  • Adding to the HTML5 Client (adding functional parity to Desktop Client, fix bugs).
  • Creating new custom interactives using Web Controls.
  • Creating developer documentation, including examples.

Schedule (Central -1 hr, Pacific -3 hr)

[table id=1 /]

Video Capture of Workshop

The workshop sessions were video captured live.  The videos for respective sessions are available in the table above.  There is also a YouTube playlist for all of them available here:

Video Playlist of all Sessions

Signing Up

If you are interested in coming the workshop please email the organizer, Doug Roberts – doctor.spaceman@yahoo.com.  He will send along some pre-workshop materials.


This workshop will take place in two supported locations, one is Microsoft Research Redmond Campus and the other is Microsoft Research – New England (Cambridge, MA).   These two facilities will be video conferenced together.  We are also setting up a third location at NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


  • Building 99 – 1915, 14820 NE 36th Street, Redmond, Washington 98052
  • Workshop Time: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm (Pacific)

Cambridge, MA


  • One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142
  • Ask for WWT workshop at front desk.  Your name will be on a list.  The workshop is one floor up from the lobby (Floor 1)
  • Workshop Time : 9:00 am – 6:30 pm (Eastern)

Participant Support

The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation is supporting this workshop along with assistance from the Brave New Software (BNS) Foundation and the .NET Foundation and the American Astronomical Society. This generous support allows us to cover the following participant costs:

  • Support: up to $1000, including domestic air or rail travel to Seattle or Boston and up to two nights hotel near Redmond or Cambridge, MA.
  • Evening dinner before the workshop for people who arrive in time (dinner around 7:00 pm Friday, November 6).
  • Coffee, snacks and lunch during the workshop
  • Group dinner following the workshop for those who can stay.

Reimbursement form (PDF) is available here: wwt-dev-workshop-reimbursement

Social Time

We will have time the evening before the workshop on Friday for a nice dinner as a group (at Cambridge, MA and Redmond, WA) for people who are in town by dinner time (7:00 pm local time in Redmond and Cambridge).  We also hope all participants can stay for dinner following the workshop on Saturday evening.  The locations and time for social dinners are given below.

Cambridge, MA

  • Friday Dinner, 7:00 pm at The House of Chang,  282 Concord Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138,  http://houseofchangcambridge.com/
  • Saturday Dinner, 6:30 pm at Za Restaurant, 350 third street • cambridge, ma • 02142 • 617.452.9292, http://zarestaurant.com/cambridge/

Redmond, WA

  • Friday Dinner, TBD, contact Jonathan Fay, jfay@microsoft.com
  • Saturday Dinner, TBD, contact Jonathan Fay, jfay@microsoft.com

After the Workshop

Below is a survey that all participants should fill out by Saturday, November 14, 2015:


Supporting Organizations

This workshop is supported by the following organizations: aas_logo dotnet_logo bns_logomoore-foundation-logo Please help spread the word!  Here is a printable PDF version of  the WWT Developer Workshop Flier.

WWT @ the 2015 Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GPLA) Meeting

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use WorldWide Telescope in their planetarium domes.  This includes setup and interface to systems. The workshop will also go over how to use WWT for the production of real-time presentation, as well as rending frames for video playback (or to create specific layers for compositing).  All these experiences can be authored on a standard Windows PC.  No special hardware is required but the system can use wireless Xbox controllers as well as commodity MIDI controllers, which will be on-hand for demonstration.

Tucson WWT Workshop for Researchers

Tucson WWT Workshop Flier (PDF)

Steward Observatory, N505

This will be an intensive one-day working workshop for people who are interested in porting their data into WorldWide Telescope (WWT) and developing uses for those data in WWT – video abstracts, tours, etc. A follow-up data showcase at the Flandreau Planetarium is also planned.  The morning session will focus on how to get your data into WWT and the afternoon session will give participants time to make something interesting with WWT.

Starting with Your Data

Getting original data into WWT is something that is potentially time-consuming and somewhat challenging; that is why the morning is devoted to that task.  Examples of data you could bring to the workshop include:

  • Raw image data, FITS format
  • Processed images in any image format (JPEG, PNG, TIF etc.)
  • WMS-served data
  • All-sky, survey images
  • Tabular catalog data
  • Traverse trails
  • SPICE kernels
  • 3D models

However, if you don’t know before the workshop what data you might want to bring or if you don’t know what data might be relevant for you to get into WWT, we will have some test datasets available for the morning session.

Some Ideas of What you can do with WWT

WorldWide Telescope (WWT) can be used to create many assets that are of use to professional scientists and educators.  Below is just an example list of some of the ways you can use WWT:

  • Video Abstracts in AAS Journals
  • Figures in context in AAS Journals
  • Videos for professional colloquia and seminars
  • Videos for public outreach
  • Tours for public exploration
  • Tours and videos you can use in classroom instruction
  • Tours you can share with local science centers and planetaria.

RSVP Before Thursday, September 24

There is room for 12 participants so please reserve a spot if you are interested in attending, by contacting Doug Roberts (doctor.spaceman@yahoo.com).  Doug Roberts, is at Northwestern University and working with the WWT Team to plan the next steps for WWT development.  He will be around the entire week of Sept. 28 to help out following the workshop.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own data.  All participants should contact Doug before September 24, so discuss what data to bring and what to expect as outcomes.


  • RSVP by emailing Doug Roberts (doctor.spaceman@yahoo.com)
  • If you have access to a Windows laptop (less than 4 years old) bring it with you! OR
  • If you don’t have access to a Windows laptop, let Doug know.
  • If you are bringing your own laptop, make sure your data is on it or easily available OR
  • If you are going to use a laptop provided by the workshop make sure to have a thumb drive with the data or make it available on-line.

Workshop Schedule

Getting Data into WWT (9:00 am – noon)

9:00-9:10 am Introduction to WWT
9:10-10:00am Demonstrate getting various data in: all-sky surveys, FITS files, catalogs, 3D models etc.
10:00 am-noon Hands-on: Get Your Own Data In!

Pizza Lunch for Workshop Participants and Graduate Students (noon – 1:00 pm)

Doing Something Cool with WWT (1:00 – 5:30 pm)

1:00-2:00 pm Demos
  Making simple tourAudioVideo AbstractRendering to VideoOculus Rift
2:00-5:00 pm Making Something Cool with Your Own Data!
5:00-6:00 pm Participants Report Out

Following the workshop Doug will be around Steward for the rest of the week and available for one-on-one help with any aspect of WWT, especially any refinement of end products of workshop, such as tours or videos or helping out getting data into WWT.

More information on the workshop is available at http://wwtworkshops.org

To participate please email Doug Roberts before September 24, but sooner is better as when you connect with Doug, he will follow up to discuss what data you might try to load in and uses you might consider.  Any work of getting the data together is better done at the before the workshop as it will make it much more likely that you will be able to create something useful by the end of the workshop.

Workshop Participants

  • Connie Walker
  • Dolores Hill
  • Ed Prather
  • Knut Olsen
  • Lia Medeiros
  • Mark Newhouse
  • Matthew Wenger
  • Molly Simon
  • Robert Sparks

Workshop Materials

WWT for Researchers (PDF)

Doug Roberts: doctor.spaceman@yahoo.com