During the recent 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, WWT unleashed a new update.  The new features in the Solstice Release, detailed quite nicely in a post on Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog, include stereo 3d – with both red-cyan anaglyph and a side-by-side mode that works very nicely on GeoWalls.

If you haven’t heard of a GeoWall, here’s a quick explanation, from personal experience in my COSMUS days.  A GeoWall is probably the cheapest way of displaying 3d visuals in stereo to an audience as large as a couple of hundred people. It is a computer, a pair of regular projectors, a rack, polarized filters, and a silver screen, and could be put together for less than $10 000 way back in 2005. Audience members wear cheap polarized glasses. Since there are no expensive gizmos doing head tracking, the experience is not limited to one person. The hardware configuration goes by different names in different places, but the basic concept is the same.

  • GeoWall Consortium website, with details of how to set up your own, and free software available for it.
  • 2005 NYT article on the GeoWall community of users.

WWT tested its stereo mode on the GeoWall in the Space Visualization Lab at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago – our thanks to them! Adler has a couple of GeoWalls in everyday use, and it is surprising that not more institutions and museums use this simple setup.

To get WWT working on a GeoWall, simply choose the side-by-side projection option like this:

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To make proper use of this, you’ll need to look at a 3d dataset – such as the Solar System mode or Earth or Mars with elevation turned on image in Settings.

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If you have a pair of red/cyan glasses handy, then have a look at the Anaglyph mode.

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And while we do have some 3d tour authoring features on our list of things to do, you can make pretty nice stereo tours (remember, they play back like movies) right now. Lekker, eh?

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Originally posted by dinos. Migrated to new blog location by derickc.