If you spend any time in the blogosphere, you probably heard about Robert Scoble’s sob session on Valentine’s Day. He said that he was shown a project at Microsoft Research that was so world-changing it brought tears to his eyes. Scoble said he couldn’t tell anyone what it was until February 27th, and he kept that promise. Today he explained:
Lots of people are asking me questions about what made me cry at Microsoft a few weeks ago.
If I told you “a telescope” you’d make fun of me, right? Tell me I’m lame and that I don’t deserve to be a geek and that I should run away and join the circus, right?
Well, that’s what I saw.
The project is called the WorldWide Telescope. Here’s how it is described on the official website:
The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground- and space telescopes to enable seamless, guided explorations of the universe. WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft®’s high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.
It does sound like a pretty cool project for astronomy, and like Scoble says, it could have a really huge impact on education and the way we view and understand our place in the universe. Scoble will have a video up on Monday showing it off, and it should be officially available sometime this spring.