Reactions to WorldWide Telescope
To begin with, here is the video of the TED talk introducing WorldWide Telescope:
Reactions, many of which make explicit comparisons to Google Sky:
Bad Astronomy: “This does look very cool. It’s much like Google Sky, but from Microsoft’s direction. Google tends to build software that allows people to add to it, while Microsoft tends to produce finished products. Both have their advantages, though in this case it’s hard to see which will go where. Right now there isn’t a huge amount of info out on the WWT; everyone’s talking about how cool it is, but at the moment we’re light on specifics.” See also Stuart Goldman at Sky and Telescope.
Ogle Earth notes Google Sky’s shortcomings, which Microsoft can exploit. But, Stefan says, “I’d prefer to have seen Microsoft add smooth zooming to a 2D web app and turn it into a true universal skybrowser rather than once again serve Windows users only via a standalone app — and we know it’s possible; look at the zooming in the web-based Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D.”
“So far I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen of WWT. There was nothing I saw in the demonstration of WWT at TED that Google Sky doesn’t already do,” writes Frank on Google Earth Blog. “To be fair, watching a 5 minute demonstration isn’t a way to make a fair comparison. I have spoken to some folks who have seen WWT up close and asked them how it compares to Google Sky. It is said the interface of WWT is very slick and the graphics perform very well. In demonstrations it could switch databases much more quickly than Sky (but, the demos may not have been with data streaming over the network). Some of the imagery in WWT has been better processed than Sky. Google’s Sky has a problem due to it being an extension of Google Earth — the ‘poles’ are not handled well.”
Both Frank and Stefan argue that the eventual nod will go to the app that allows users to annotate and share content. Which will be the more hackable app?