Microsoft hitchhikes to the stars

Last week I was at a conference of digital geographers. There was much talk of how Google Earth has changed the public’s appreciation of their subject, but now Microsoft seem have gone one better.

The company is to launch a new tool called WorldWide Telescope. This uses computer visualisation techniques to hitch together feeds from a number of different satellites and scientific telescopes to create a navigable image of the universe – stars, solar systems and galaxies. It is described in Microsoft’s pre-launch video as providing “a kind of magic carpet that lets you navigate the universe”.

It’s going to be freely available from Spring 2008. All we need now is a guide with “Don’t Panic” written on the front cover.

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