next generation of Sky in Google Earth

Rob Seaman seaman at
Mon Jan 14 09:12:25 PST 2008

On Jan 14, 2008, at 9:24 AM, George Djorgovski wrote:

> It reminds me of the people way back asking "isn't VO just like NED?".

Way back?  I got that one last week at the AAS.

> 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.

Yes, although I think Roy's response was just about perfect when  
people do inquire about GS and WWT.

> A cogent, multi-sentence response reflecting a broad range of the  
> (actual and intended) VO capabilities would be much better.

Yes, but you have to get their attention first, for example, via  
something like the AAS VOEvent demo.  For those who didn't see it,  
this was two LEGO telescopes talking via bluetooth - the motions of  
one (an RNG) were mimicked by the other.  Over 3.5 days I estimate I  
delivered the VOEvent spiel 100-200 times, typically to a group of 2-3  
people.  Five or ten times as many people have now heard about VOEvent  
as before the meeting.  There were dozens of extended conversations on  
topics all over the VO and folks were directed across to the other VO  
demos at the NOAO and NVO booths.

Comments included "Wonderful!" and "How 21st century!".  I recall one  
guy almost jogging down the aisle to the NVO booth (I looked to make  
sure he didn't turn the other way when I wasn't watching :-)

In short - build a comprehensive mission statement, but rely on  
pointed demonstrations of targeted technologies.  Think of a science  
museum.  A single room might contain a half dozen or ten exhibits like  
a Van de Graf generator AND a Jacob's ladder AND a bicycle wheel  
gyroscope.  VO needs the equivalent of those exhibits.


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