Science & Data Visualization Task Force
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The mission of the Science and Data Visualization Task Force is to streamline the process of going from data to dome, increasing the potential for scientific communication and storytelling in the planetarium.

The task force will undertake initiatives (inclusive of Data to Dome) aimed at:

  • Preparing planetaria for the big data streams that will come from next generation telescopes, satellites, experiments and computational simulations.
  • Creating professional development opportunities aimed at developing more "data savvy” planetarians.
  • Developing and promoting best practices for data visualization in the dome.
  • Connecting data suppliers, with vendors and planetarium end-users by setting, and recommending, standards for real-time, or near real-time, scientific content distribution: imagery, videos, tabular data etc.
  • Encouraging the visualization of a wide range of scientific data in the dome (moving beyond astronomy).
  • Advocating for the inclusion of dome visualization tools in standard scientific analysis and visualization packages.
  • Encouraging planetaria to make their facilities available to researchers from their communities to use as a visualization tool.

Tutorials, Workshops and Datasets:

The task force maintains an evolving set of tutorials workshops and datasets on techniques for visualizing data. This material can be found on GitHub here.

Data to Dome:

The Science and Data Visualization Task Force began writing columns for Planetarian starting in March 2014. They are gathered here for easy access.

Planetarian Topic Author
 March 2014 Vol. 43 #1   About Time Mark SubbaRao
 June 2014 Vol. 43 #2

Earth sciences in the planetarium

Tom Kwasnitschka,
Ka Chun Yu,
Matthew Turk

 Sept 2014 Vol. 43 #3

How to Acquire and visualize datasets

Mark SubbaRao

 Dec 2014 Vol. 434 The WorldWide Telescope: Past, present and future Mark SubbaRao

See also: IPS Data to Dome page

Task Force Members

Dr. Mark SubbaRao (Chair)
Space Visualization Laboratory Director
Adler Planetarium
Chicago, USA
msubbarao at

Dr. Tom Kwasnitschka
Seafloor Visualization Laboratory
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
Kiel, Germany
tkwasnitschka at

Dr. Matthew Turk
Research Scientist
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Urbana Champaign
matthewturk at

Lars Lindberg Christensen (MSc)
ESO Head Education & Public Outreach Dept.
IAU Press Officer
IAU Commission 55 President
Garching, Germany
lars at

Dr. Ka Chun Yu
Curator of Space Science
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver, USA
kcyu at

Shoichi Itoh
Public Relations Center
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
National Institute of Natural Sciences
Tokyo, Japan
shoichi.itoh at

Shawn Laatsch
Emera Astronomy Center
University of Maine
167 Rangeley Road
Orono, Maine USA

Carter Emmart
Director of Astrovisualization
American Museum of Natural History
New York, USA
tourtheuniverse at


Task Force Reports

2016 - Warsaw

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