next generation of Sky in Google Earth

George Djorgovski george at
Mon Jan 14 08:24:01 PST 2008

Folks, if I may offer an opinion:

I think that the focus in this discussion (and the corresponding  
responses to people asking "why is VO any different from GS/WWT?") is  
misplaced.  It reminds me of the people way back asking "isn't VO  
just like NED?".

The VO is about much, much more than the kind of functionalities  
offered by the GS and WWT, even if they do manage to find some  
serious professional uses.  For sure, they will be fantastic EPO  
mechanisms.  VO is an environment for -science- first of all, and  
there is a vast amount of research for which the GS/WWT visualization  
capabilities are simply irrelevant.  We'll try to use them for  
science, but this one little colorful hammer does not fit all the  
nails, screws, bolts, wheels, ratchets,....

Generally, I find that any attempt to summarize concisely the concept  
of a rich research environment like VO in a single techno buzzword,  
like "VO is all about  
[middleware,services,grid,...buzzwordofyourchoice....]" falls flat  
and tends to be demonstrably false.  A cogent, multi-sentence  
response reflecting a broad range of the (actual and intended) VO  
capabilities would be much better.

Cheers, George

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