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Science & Data Task Force Report 2016
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Science & Data Visualization Task Force Report 2016

I. Function of the Committee: on committee web page

II. Committee Chair and Members: on committee web page

III. Accomplishments of the Committee

Presence at Warsaw Meeting

The Science and Data Visualization Task Force will have a strong presence at the Warsaw meeting, in particular Session 20: Science and Data Visualization; Session 16: Open Source Software; and Session 38: Data2Dome.

Growth of Data Visualization Tutorials

The Task Force continues to grow and maintain a set of tutorials on how to acquire scientific data and visualize it in the planetarium. The tutorials and datasets live in GitHub repositories set up by the task force

Columns in Planetarian

Regular contributions are being made to Planetarian through the “Data to Dome” column. This column serves as the primary communication mechanism between the task force and IPS membership.

Stewardship of Worldwide Telescope

A significant accomplishment for the entire astronomical community occurred when the American Astronomical Society took over stewardship of the Worldwide Telescope. Task force members played key roles in this process and IPS leadership provided a letter of support on behalf of the move. The planetarium community will be well represented in this initiative, with task force members Mark SubbaRao and Matthew Turk are serving on the AAS WWT Advisory Committee, along with Ryan Wyatt from the California Academy of Sciences.


Short “Data to Dome” workshops we held as sessions at various conferences around the world, including Bloemfontein, South Africa; Cozumel, Mexico; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Vendor Consulting

The task force consulted with various vendors on future development of their software packages. Over the past year RSA Cosmos, Digitalis, Sky-Skan, and Sciss reached out to the task force chair for advice/suggestions.

IV. Future Goals of the Committee

Data to Dome Workshop

We are planning an extended (two day) Data to Dome workshop at the NAOJ campus in Tokyo, Japan, on February 23-24, 2017. Holding a workshop of this type was one of the original goals of the task force. A series of successful shorter events at IMERSA makes us confident that we can organize this event successfully as well.

Data2Dome System

The Data2Dome system that is being presented during the Warsaw meeting has the potential to serve as a just-in-time cross platform content delivery system as well as a way for planetariums to share content across various systems. Work on the Data2Dome platform will continue in the next year.

V. Budget Requirements

We are requesting budgetary support of the Data to Dome Workshop in Tokyo. We are requesting $6,000. This figure is approximately ½ the cost of the conference, the remainder will come from NAOJ contributions, vendor support and participant fees.

VI. Comments

The potential Tokyo workshop is an important event for IPS for a number of reasons. In addition to advancing the field and accomplishing one of the major goals set before the task force, the joint workshop will help strengthen the relationship between IPS and NAOJ (an explicit goal set before Vision2020).

VII. Summary/Abstract

The Science and Data Visualization Task Force continues its work on streamlining the process on going from data to the dome. Efforts over the past year included professional development efforts such as Planetarium column, workshops and online tutorials.

The task force has been consulting with vendors on future directions of their software and has been prototyping the “data2dome” system for distributing and sharing content across systems. The task force represented the planetarium community during the American Astronomical Society’s decision making process regarding their stewardship of the Worldwide Telescope.

The major activities over the next year will be holding a two-day workshop in coordination with NAOJ (Feb 23-24, 2017 in Tokyo Japan) and the development of the Data2Dome platform.

To Data2Dome page.

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