Yesterday the joint press release went out on the collaboration and Space Act Agreement we’re been working on with NASA for sometime. We’re really excited about working with NASA to process many datasets like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and make them available in WorldWide Telescope. Having these images available in the TOAST (tesselated octahedral adaptive subdivision transform) projection format will not only benefit WWT but any viewer supporting that format. The benefit of using TOAST as Jonathan Fay one mentioned “It creates a 360-degree wraparound view that’s either a planet surface or the infinite sphere of the sky, and lets you represent it using a 3D graphics accelerator, very rapidly and efficiently. So we can have an image pyramid the way Deep Zoom does, and TerraServer before it, but we don’t have to give up the poles.”
NASA and Microsoft to Make Universe of Data Available to the Public
There is a really good article out talking about some of the background behind Curtis Wong and Jonathan Fay’s labor of love. WorldWide Telescope Puts Wonders of Space on a PC
The other big news is that at Mix09 we put out a alpha release of the worldwide telescope web client built using SilverLight. Now all the folks running Macs can see what all the buzz was behind Scoble’s post What made me cry: Microsoft’s World Wide Telescope from last year.