WorldWide Telescope Data Files Reference

Note: This documentation is preliminary and subject to change.

This document describes the data file formats used by the WorldWide Telescope. The files are XML files, and have the extension .WTML. Also covered are a few URL based controls that enable the sharing of single images without creating data files.

Data files are used to add to the default data and user experience of WorldWide Telescope. Data files are used to add single or multiple images -- either foreground images (typically single images referred to as studies) or background images (typically created from a large number of images, covering all or most of the sky, and referred to as surveys), to add tours (animated slide-shows), to create sign up files for communities (public or private groups that can share data), and to add simple or complex sets of data and links for those communities.

Table of Contents

See Also

Collections Files

A collection is a friendly name given to a WTML file. WTML is the user-editable file format designed specifically for WorldWide Telescope. The Explore menu entry that WorldWide Telescope users will be very familiar with, is essentially a WTML browser.

Fairly simple examples of WTML files are those that contain only one type of object entry, for example a list of tours, or a list of studies. Potentially one of the most complex is a community payload file, which will often contain a hierarchy of folders, each folder containing a collection of sub-folders and objects. Objects can be tours, studies, panoramas, planets, all-sky surveys, and links. Examples of the most common types of WTML file are listed in the samples section.

See Also

Structure of a Collection File

A collection file is coded in xml, and is a hierarchical collection of Folder entries. The following example can be loaded into WorldWide Telescope and will appear as the image below, even though all the folders are empty. The example is based on a community payload file, though a very similar structure would apply to a hierarchical selection of tours or studies.

Note that the Name entries appear in the upper panel of WorldWide Telescope, and that one unique thumbnail image for each Folder is helpful (though not required, a default thumbnail will be used if none is provided), and more thumbnail images will be helpful for each entry within each Folder. A substantial number of thumbnail images can be necessary if the collection file is large.

Blank Collection.WTML
<?xml version="1.0"?>
    Name="Blank Collection" 

        Name="Our Tours" 

        <!-- Tour entries go in here -->

        Name="Our Studies" 
        <!-- Studies go in here -->


        <!-- Context only entries go in here -->


        Name="Our Links" 

        <!-- Link entries go in here -->


        Name="Our Downloads" 

        <!-- Catalogs (pdf files, Word documents) go in here -->

  <!-- Some top level place entries go in here -->

See Also


A place is simply a location for the view. Place entries are used within Studies to contain imagery, but can be present in a collection file as viewing points without any additional images. Place entries can also be used to hold links to web pages (articles, supporting documents, community website, and so on).

The following shows an example of a Place entry in Sky mode (a view of the southern star Canopus).

Name = "Canopus"The name of the star.
Thumbnail = "http://...../Images/T_star.jpg"A URL to a thumbnail image for use in the top panel.
DataSetType = "Sky"Set this to Sky in order to use RA and Dec.
RA = "6.3991667"Right ascension of the star, in decimal hours.
Dec = "-52.6952778"Declination of the star, in decimal degrees.
ZoomLevel = "60.0"The Zoom Level when viewing the feature. Zoom Level is six times the Field of View, so a Zoom Level of 60 will give a Field of View of 10.
Constellation = "CAR" Determines the constellation to be shown in the Properties panel. Set to the three or four letter code specified in the Constellations table, CAR for Carina in this case.
Classification="Star" One of a range of Classifications.
Magnitude="-0.72" The Apparent Magnitude of the star. This field does not affect the view, but is simply information that is displayed in the Properties for the place.
Distance="19604298.227" The distance to the star in astronomical units (AU). Multiply light years by 63239.6717 to get the distance in AU. This field does not affect the view, but is simply information that is displayed in the Properties for the place.

The following shows an example of a Place entry in Planet mode (the location of Olympus Mons on Mars).

Name = "Olympus Mons"The name of the feature.
Thumbnail = "http://...../Images/T_mountain.jpg"A URL to a thumbnail image for use in the top panel.
DataSetType = "Planet"Set this to Planet in order to use latitude and longitude.
Lat = "18.0"The latitude of the feature, in the range -90 to 90 degrees.
Lng = "133.0"The longitude of the feature, in the range -360 to 360 degrees.
ZoomLevel = "60.0"The Zoom Level when viewing the feature. Zoom Level is six times the Field of View, so a Zoom Level of 60 will give a Field of View of 10.
Angle = "45">The angle for the view. Zero, the default, will give a view vertically down to the planet surface. An angle of 45 degrees will angle the view up by 45 degrees.

The following shows an example of a Place entry containing a link (to a high definition image of a gully on Mars):

Url="" Link to the web page.  This could be to an html web page, or to a document such as .pdf file.
Thumbnail="http://...../Images/T_mars.jpg" Link to the thumbnail image.
DataSetType = "Planet"This entry is optional, but should be present if the default of Sky is not correct for the data. If the user double-clicks the place thumbnail, then the mode will change to that set in this field before the web page is displayed. This mode change does not happen if the user single-clicks the thumbnail.
Name = "Gully on Mars"> Descriptive name of the web page.

Thumbnail Images

Thumbnail images are used frequently throughout WorldWide Telescope to provide an image to go along with a link, either in the top pane under Collections or Tours, or in the lower pane as part of a context search. Typically if you prepare your own data you may well create a thumbnail image for it - usually be taking a screen shot then capturing a rectangle of interest to match the fixed sizes of the thumbnails given in this document. Note that URL entries for thumbnails should always reference the full path, and not a relative path.

An alternative is to request a thumbnail image from the thumbnail server. This is done by entering appropriate text at the end of the following query (the example requests a thumbnail where the title contains the word "Mars"):

If a thumbnail image is not found containing the supplied text, as suitable default is used.

See Also


Study images are stored in image pyramids. Given an W x H pixel study, it is represented as an N x N pixel image where N is the smallest power of 2 that is at least as big as W and H. In mathematical terms, N = 2^ceiling(log_2(max(W,H))). In simpler terms, if a study image is 958 by 768 pixels, it will be embedded in a 1024 x 1024 square bitmap. The extra area not covered by the W x H photograph is occupied by transparent pixels. This forms the lowest level of the pyramid, with each level up containing a lower-resolution version of the original image with half the height and half the width of the image at the previous level. At each level, the image is further divided up into 256 x 256 tiles.

The process of dividing up an image into this pyramid of tiles can be done using the Study Chopper tool. This tool not only creates the correct tiles, but places them in the required directory structure, and outputs sample WTML files to load them into WorldWide Telescope. The Study Chopper tool is included with the WorldWide Telescope May 2009 ADK.

For example, suppose we had a 1457 x 1201 study image, such as this Spitzer image of Galaxy NGC 4579.

This image should be embedded in a 2048 x 2048 image and stored in a pyramid with four levels 0, 1, 2, 3.

At level 3 there would be 64 256 x 256 tiles containing the entire image (no image is shown here for this level).
The location is about Right Ascension 47.83 degrees (3h 11m 19s) and Declination 1.32 degrees (1d 18m 53s) in J2000 coordinates, and it is about 20 arc seconds wide.

Level 2

At level 2 there are 16 256x256 tiles representing a down-sampled 1024 x 1024 version of the image. The grey shadows show the transparent regions. Some of the tiles have been labeled with X and Y coordinates between 0 and 3 -- which is how individual tiles of the pyramid are addressed at each level.

Level 1

At level 1 there are 4 256x256 tiles representing a further down-sampled 512 x 512 version of the image.

Level 0

At level 0 there is a single down-sampled 256x256 version of the image.

The following table describes how the Galaxy NGC 4579 image might be entered into a date file. The Place entry should be considered the position of the view, and the ImageSet entry the position of the image itself.

<?xml version="1.0"?>  

The Folder tags determine the structure of the hierarchy.

       Name="Galaxies"Enter a suitable project name.
       Group="Explorer" Usually set to Explorer.
       Searchable="True" Set to True if the study should be located by the WorldWide Telescope search feature. This feature is not currently implemented.
       Type="Sky">One of:
          Name="Spitzer image of Galaxy NGC 4579" The name that will be used as a title for the thumbnail in the top panel of WorldWide Telescope, and the string that will be recognized by a JScript web control.
          DataSetType="Sky" One of:
          RA="3.1885833 " Right ascension, in decimal hours, of the center of the viewpoint for the study. To be the center of the image divide the RA of the image (CenterX) in the ImageSet tag (which is in degrees) by 15.0.
          Dec="1.31471944444444 " Declination, in degrees, of the viewpoint for the study. This value often equals CenterY from the ImageSet.
          Constellation="CET" Determines the constellation to be shown in the Study Properties panel. Set to the three or four letter code specified in the Constellations table.
          Classification="Galaxy" One of a range of Classifications.
          Magnitude="0" This field does not affect the view, but is simply information about the original picture that can be displayed in the Properties for the image.
          Distance="0" This field does not affect the view, but is simply information about the original picture that can be displayed in the Properties for the image.
          ZoomLevel="0.2" Distance away from the image of the view. Note ZoomLevel and Field of View refer to the same thing. The higher the zoom level the greater distance the viewpoint is away from the image. Maximum field of view is 60 degrees, the minimum is just below 0.00023.
          Rotation="0" Rotation of the view camera in degrees. Refer to the images to see how rotating the view camera, and rotating the image, compare.
          Opacity="100" Set to 100 for full opacity (no transparency). An entry of 50, for example, would mean 50% transparency.
          Angle="0" Up and down angle of the view camera if relative to the surface of a planet. Has no effect on a sky view Negative angles are acceptable.
          <Target>Undefined</Target> The default is Undefined, but can be one of:
          <ForegroundImageSet> Contains one or more ImageSet entries, describing the foreground image.
             <ImageSet Description of a single image.
                Generic="False" For foreground images this should be set to False.
                DataSetType="Sky" One of:

Note that images are currently only rendered in Sky mode.
                BandPass="Visible" The primary wavelength. One of:
Note that only one entry can be made, even if the image is a composite of several wavelengths.
                Url="path.png" A URL that contains a link to the 256 x 256 tile pyramid  of the image. In this case, it is a path to an image on the web, but it can be any URL (for example, a local path or a SQL query) that contains the size of the pyramid coded in the {} parameters. This would be a path similar to:{2}/{3}/{3}_{0}.png
                TileLevels="3" The maximum level of the image pyramid used to store the study. The example study uses 4 levels numbered 0 to 3, so TileLevels is 3.
                WidthFactor="2" Legacy entry. Set to 2.
                Sparse="True" This is a hint to the rendering system, True indicates that the image is a study and will only appear on a section of the sky.
                Rotation="-5.0799999999867" Angle in degrees at which image is inclined. A positive number will rotate the image to the left, negative to the right (refer to the example images below).
                QuadTreeMap="" If the tiling of the image is processed using the LX, LY co-ordinate system, this entry should be ignored or left as an empty string. If the tiling is processed using a quad tree then this entry should contain a coding of how the quad tree is organized (for example, QuadTreeMap="0123"). Note that the Study Chopper tool uses the LX,LY system.
                Projection="Tangent" For studies this should always be set to Tangent, as studies are tangentially projected.
One of:
Tangent, Tan,
                Name="Galaxy;Galaxy NGC 4579;NGC 5479"Semicolon separated list of words or phrases that can be located in a search.
                FileType=".png" One of ".jpg" or ".png". The period is optional.
                CenterX="1.3146065774006597" Right ascension of the center of the image, in decimal degrees.
                CenterY="47.828862896748753" Declination of the center of the image, in decimal degrees.
                BottomsUp="False" Set to "True" if the image should be inverted.
                OffsetX="-0.00277778" OffsetX and OffsetY will normally both be zero, indicating that the CenterX and CenterY position applies to the very center of the image. The image can be offset from the center by entering a non-zero value for either of these entries, which are then added to CenterX or CenterY to place the image in the view. Refer to the example image below.
                BaseTileLevel="0" Usually 0, for the index of the first level of tiling. Refer to the file structure output from the Image Chopper tool (explained in the WorldWide Telescope Data Tools Guide).
                BaseDegreesPerTile= "0.02842076047738"> This is the number of degrees of declination that the top tile of the pyramid occupies on the sky. Each Study is embedded in a larger 2^n x 2^n image. This is also the number of degrees of declination that that larger image occupies on the sky. Use the formula: 

(Height of image in arc minutes * largest image size)/(60 * image height) = degrees

For example, an image 1200 pixels high set in a 2048 square tile that occupies one arc minute of the sky: (1 * 2048)/(60 * 1200) = 0.0284 degrees.
                <Credits>"NASA, ESA, and M. Livio (STScI) /Line2/Line3 Data were taken 2009." </Credits> Brief description of where the image came from, who made it, the date it was taken, and so on. Add "/" characters to show that the credits should appear on different lines.
                <CreditsUrl>"path.html"</CreditsUrl> URL to a site that might give more information on the image.
                <ThumbnailUrl>"path.jpg" </ThumbnailUrl> A link to an image (96 wide x 45 in height) for use as a thumbnail.

The following images give examples of how the appearance of an image can be changed by varying some of the parameters.

Image Manipulation
The following text shows the starting point, with the resulting image shown below.
basic image
Changing the Rotation entry of the ImageSet to 45 will result in a 45 degree left rotation. If the Rotation was set at -45, the rotation would be to the right.
Rotation 45
Leaving the ImageSet Rotation at zero, and changing the Place Rotation to -45 degrees, results in the following image. Note the apparent variation in the angle of the image, as the view is not perfectly aligned with the center of the image.
Leaving both rotation values at zero, and doubling the ZoomLevel to 0.246666:
Changing the ZoomLevel to 10 results in a much more distant image:
Changing the Opacity setting for the view to 25 (percent):
Applying an offset to the image (OffsetX = 0.001, OffsetY == 0.002), results in a slight displacement of the image up and to the right.

See Also


Surveys typically contain image data for the entire sky. The most popular surveys are inevitably at the visual wavelengths, however there are many other options at non-visible wavelengths -- such as radio, x-ray, gamma, and so on. Comparing the visual appearance of an object with a graphical representation of one of the non-visible wavelengths is an important feature of WorldWide Telescope.

This section describes the WTML file format used to contain survey data.

Survey Data

Preparing a full sky survey involves a huge amount of data collection and preparation, and a comparatively simple WTML collection file to render it. The Toast projection system for survey data is described in the WorldWide Telescope Projection Reference, and the Sphere Toaster tool used to prepare data is described in the WorldWide Telescope Data Tools Guide.

Similar to studies, the source image data is converted into an image pyramid for ease of rendering.

The WTML collection file used to render a survey is simpler than that for a study, as no positional data is needed. The orientation of the survey is determined using the Sphere Toaster tool.

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<Folder Name="TestSurvey">
     Name="A Test Survey"
     Url="path to ..... \TestSurvey\{1}\{3}\{3}_{2}.png"
     <ThumbnailUrl>path to ..... \testsurvey.jpg</ThumbnailUrl>
     <Description />
There  are few differences between the contents of a WTML file containing a study or a survey. In particular note that the Projection entry is set to Toast rather than Tangent.

See Also


The actual content of a tour is stored in a .WTT file. These files include a lot of binary information and are not designed to be human-readable. However, WTML files can contain references to tours. These references can be used in conjunction with a set of images, so that an appropriate tour or range of tours is available for the new image data (the references to the new images are embedded in the WTT file). Alternatively of course tour collections can be put together for existing image data.

All but two of the parameters in a Tour entry are optional, and are identified in the table.

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>  
 <Folder Top level Folder
   Name ="Samples"> This name will appear as part of the location string in the UI of WorldWide Telescope. For example:
Open Collections > Samples
   <Folder Tour Folder
    Name="Our Tours"This name will appear as part of the location string in the UI of WorldWide Telescope. For example:
Open Collections > Samples > Our Tours
    Group="Tour"> Enter Tour.
     Title="Apollo Missions" Name of this tour. Not required but very helpful.
     ID="8939B405-9261-49d4-A7C4-52847A51A08A" Required. Enter a Guid to uniquely identify the tour. The Visual Studio Tools/Create Guid utility is a good way of generating Guids.
     Description="Brief history of Apollo missions" Brief description of the tour. If the description is longer than one line in the properties dialog, it will be wrapped and justified appropriately.
     Author="A.N. Author" Author's name.
     OrganizationName="Microsoft Research" Name of the organization, can be left empty.
     AverageRating="4" Rating, out of five, for the tour.
     AuthorImageUrl ="" A link to a thumbnail image, 72 pixels wide by 96 in height, of the author.
     ThumbnailUrl =”” A link to a thumbnail image, 96 pixels wide by 45 in height, for the tour. The bold "T" (for tour) in the top right hand corner is added by WorldWide Telescope, so should not be included in the thumbnail.
     TourUrl ="" Required. Link to the .WTT file containing the tour.
     LengthInSecs=”243” The approximate length of the tour in seconds. This entry is only used in the tour properties dialog, as information for users.
     RelatedTours="26BB4C2E-52F1-4fdf-8C99-31556E791FC6;26BB4C2E-52F1-4fdf-8C99-31556E791FC7" List of related tours identified by their ID entry. This feature is currently only implemented for the default tours.

The following example shows the minimal meaningful information necessary to add a Tour entry.

See Also

Default Tours

The default tours used by the Windows version of WorldWide Telescope are held in the tours.WTML file, in the following locations:

Windows Vista: C:\Users\<userid>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WorldWideTelescope\data\

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<userid>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\WorldWideTelescope\

Currently there is not a supported process to add your own tours to this file.

See Also


Communities are the primary way in which WorldWide Telescope users can share data and tours with each other. Communities can be made by any user, but typically are individuals or organizations, such as planetariums, science centers, astronomy clubs, magazines, bloggers, schools, classes, and for class projects. There is no limit to the number of communities that can be set up.

See Also

Setting up a Community

You can set up your own community using your own servers and without any contact with Microsoft. However, you may prefer to have your community listed it on the WorldWide Telescope Community Directory (a subset of which is shown on the WWT Support page). To do this, send an email to, requesting that your community be listed. To be considered for inclusion in the community directory, community sites must maintain standards in terms of quality, scalability, and content appropriateness. These standards include:

To set up a community go through the following steps:

See Also

Step 1: Set the Mime Types

To set up a community, you should first add the WorldWide Telescope file extensions to the mime types on your server.

File type
File extension
WWT Collections (and Communities).WTMLapplication/x-wtml
WWT Tours.WTTapplication/x-wtt
WWT Constellation Figures.WWTFIGapplication/x-wwtfig

See Also

Step 2: Create a Thumbnail Image

Create a thumbnail image for the community. This should be 176 wide by 45 pixels in height.

Sample community thumbnail.

See Also

Step 3: Create a Payload File

The payload file contains the main content for a community. This file determines the folder structure, images, tours, community metadata, and so on. In its simplest form, a payload file can be a static WTML file that is hand-edited on the server side. Alternatively it can be generated from a database, and so might be much easier to update regularly.

Typically payload files contain the following:

A sample community payload file is Community Payload.html.

See Also

Step 4: Create a Signup File

A signup file is a short WTML file that points to the thumbnail and payload files, and gives the title of the community. The following table shows a sample signup file, based on the signup file for the WWT Data Community.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 
<Folder One Folder entry.
    Name= "WWT Data Community"Name of the community.
    Group="Community" Set to Community.
    Thumbnail= "" Full URL of the community thumbnail.
    Url= ""/> Full URL of the payload file.

A sample community signup file is also listed at Join Our Community.html.

See Also

Step 5: Accessing the Community

The signup file should be placed in a web-accessible location, and appropriately linked to from your institution/organization/club website.

See Also

Including Other WTML Files

A WTML file can include references to other WTML files, which can then be used to build up collections of collections, or add studies and surveys to a community payload file, for example. To include another WTML file in a collection, add the following entry:

  Name="Name of collection" A friendly name for the file to be included.
 Group="Explorer" For most included files this should be set to Explorer.
 Url="http:/..../filename.wtml" Path to the file to be included. This can be a local path or http address.
 Thumbnail="http:/...../thumbnail.jpg" />  Thumbnail image to use in the top pane. Note the closing bracket for the folder entry.

See Also

WTML Samples

The following table lists the samples that can be used as a starting point for WorldWide Telescope WTML file development.

Click on the Sample Name to view the source. Note that paths may need to be changed for the samples to work, these paths are highlighted by comments in the sample code.

Sample Name
WTML Blank Collection Shows the hierarchy of a collection, without any content.
WTML Sample Study Shows a collection of two studies. One image at the center of Pisces and one at the center of Aquarius.
WTML Sample Tour Collection Shows a collection of two tours.
WTML Sample Panorama Survey Shows a collection containing a single panorama.
WTML Join Our Community Shows a community signup file.
WTML Community Payload Shows a community payload file that can be used as a starting point for a new community. The community includes tours, studies, downloads and links.

See Also

Sharing Views

There are two single URL based controls, Goto and ShowImage that enable the sharing of views by simply providing recipients with the URL. Goto is the simpler of the two, and enables a link to a particular point in space (RA, Dec and Zoom) to be captured, and then sent, for example, by email. ShowImage is similar, but includes more information (including a link to an image) that enables the sharing of that single image, without the need to write a WTML data file or create a community. If a valid data file does exist, a command line parameter can be used to initiate the Windows Client version.

See Also


To capture a link from WorldWide Telescope, right click to bring up the Finder Scope, select Research then Copy Shortcut from the menu. This will encode the current view into a URL.

The base of the URL is as follows:

Following this there are four required parameters, separated by the ampersand (&) symbol:

Required Parameter
object=stringName to appear on the thumbnail, under Collections > Open Collections > Link Collection.
ra=doubleRight ascension (RA) of the view center.
dec=doubleDeclination (Dec) of the view center.
zoom=doubleZoom factor (6 x Field of View).
Optional Parameter
wtml=trueThe default behavior is that this will open the image in the Windows Client version of WorldWide Telescope, rather than the Web Client version. This assumes that the mime-type for WTML files is set to the Windows Client.

For example:

If the receiver of the email clicks on this link, it should open up the Web client version of WorldWide Telescope, and provide a thumbnail that can be selected for the specified view to be rendered:

Goto Note that the shortcut can be captured from either the Windows Client or Web Client versions of WorldWide Telescope. Clicking on the link will open up the Web Client version unless the wtml=true parameter is set.

See Also

Show Image

The ShowImage control enables an image to be shared, by embedding information about the image in a URL. The URL could then, for example, be emailed to colleagues who could then view the image in WorldWide Telescope simply by clicking on the link. Unlike Goto, there is no automated way of creating the URL from within WorldWide Telescope.

Of course the image, and optionally a thumbnail of it, must be web accessible for this to work. The image should also have a maximum size of 2048 x 2048 pixels. If larger sized images are required, then WTML data files should be set up to tile the image correctly (refer to the WorldWide Telescope Data Tools Guide).

The base of the URL is as follows:

Add to this base the following parameters, with an ampersand (&) between each parameter.

Required Parameter
name=stringUser friendly, but relatively unique name.
ra=doubleRight ascension (RA) of the image center (or tangent point) from the plate solution.
x=doublePixel position corresponding to the RA.
dec=doubleDeclination (Dec) of the image center (or tangent point) from the plate solution.
y=doublePixel position corresponding to the Dec.
scale=doubleArc seconds per pixel from the plate solution.
rotation=doubleRotation east of north.
imageurl=stringURL encoded link to the original image at the scale and size of the image described in the rest of the URL.
Optional Parameter
wtml=trueThe default behavior is that this will open the image in the Windows Client version of WorldWide Telescope, rather than the Web Client version. This assumes that the mime-type for WTML files is set to the Windows Client.
thumb=stringLink to the thumbnail image. The thumbnail should be 96x45 pixels.
credits=stringAppropriate credit text.
creditsUrl=stringLink to the credit information or image page.
reverseparity=BoolTrue inverts the image, False is the default.
goto=BoolTrue indicates that WorldWide Telescope will slew and zoom on the image only. False (the default) indicates that the image thumbnail will appear under Open Collections and the user must select this to slew and zoom to the image. False also indicates that the user can save the image to their own collections.
debug=BoolTrue indicates that the WTML file will be shown, rather than launched. False is the default.


The example URL shown below will only result in a default thumbnail and the name being added to the Open Collections. For the user receiving the URL to view the image, they will need to click on the thumbnail.
Horsehead thumbnail

In this second example the optional parameters thumb= and credits= and creditsUrl= have been added, to improve the experience for the user receiving the URL. When the image appears, note the better looking thumbnail image, and the credits text and link in the Properties panel.
Horsehead Nebula

In this third example, the collection file is opened in the Windows Client, rather then Web Client, version:

See Also

Command Line

To initiate the Windows Client version of WorldWide Telescope, with either a WTML data file, or WTT tour file, go through the following steps:

  1. Open up a Command Prompt window.
  2. Navigate to the folder containing the WWTExplorer.exe file. By default this is:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Research\Microsoft WorldWide Telescope\
  3. Type a command such as:

    wwtexplorer path\datafile.wtml
    wwtexplorer path\tourfile.wtt

    ensuring of course that the full path and filenames are correct.
  4. This should open up WorldWide Telescope with either the collection thumbnail from a wtml file displayed under Collections > Open Collections, or will startup a tour if a valid tour file is used as the command line parameter.

See Also


See Also


Classification entries in WTML files can take one of the following values. The default classification is Unfiltered.


See Also


The following table lists the constellation codes and the center of each constellation. If a correct code is entered in a WTML file, such as Constellation="CET", then there can be an improvement in the systems performance. If Constellation is left blank, or is wrong, then the RA and Dec entries are used. There are 89 entries in the table, as the discontiguous Serpens constellation is treated as two.

RA (decimal hours)
RA (decimal degrees)
Dec (decimal degrees)
AndromedaAND 0.80766667 12.11537.431833
AntliaANT10.273833 154.1075-31.5165
ApusAPS16.144167 242.1625-74.7
AquariusAQR22.289667 334.345-9.210833
AquilaAQL19.667295.005 3.410833
AraARA17.374833 260.6225-55.411667
AriesARI2.63639.54 20.79233
AurigaAUR6.0736667 91.10542.028
BootesBOO14.710667 220.6631.202667
Caelum CAE4.7045 70.5675-36.11833
CancerCNC8.649333 129.7419.805833
Canes VenaticiCVN13.116 196.7440.101833
Canis MajorCMA6.829102.435 -21.859667
Canis MinorCMI7.652833 114.79256.4271667
CapricornusCAP21.048833 315.7325-17.976833
CarinaCAR8.695130.425 -62.780667
CassiopeiaCAS1.319333 19.7962.184
CentaurusCEN13.071167 196.0675-46.654667
CetusCET1.668333 25.025-6.8206667
ChamaeleonCHA10.692167 160.3825-78.795
ColumbaCOL5.8626667 87.94-34.9055
Coma BerenicesCOM12.787833 191.817523.305667
Corona AustralisCRA18.6465 279.6975-40.8525
Corona BorealisCRB15.843167 237.647532.624833
CraterCRT11.395833 170.9375-14.071
CruxCRU12.449833 186.7475-59.8135
DoradoDOR5.241833 78.6275-58.613
EquuleusEQU21.187667 317.8157.7581667
EridanusERI4.060.0 -27.243833
GeminiGEM7.0706667 106.0622.600167
GrusGRU22.4565336.8475 -45.648167
HerculesHER17.386260.79 27.498833
HorologiumHOR3.27649.14 -52.663667
HydraHYA11.612167 174.1825-26.0
HydrusHYI2.3441667 35.1625-68.0435
IndusIND21.972167 329.5825-58.29333
LacertaLAC22.46133 336.9246.041833
LeoLEO10.667167 160.007513.138667
Leo MinorLMI10.24533 153.6832.134667
LepusLEP5.565833 83.4875-18.953667
LibraLIB15.19933 227.99-14.76533
LupusLUP15.220167 228.3025-41.291167
LynxLYN7.9921667 119.882547.466667
LyraLYR18.852833 282.792536.68933
MicroscopiumMIC20.964667 314.47-35.725167
MonocerosMON7.0605105.9075 0.28216667
OphiuchusOPH17.394833 260.9225-6.0876667
PavoPAV19.611833 294.1775-64.2185
PegasusPEG22.69733 340.4619.46633
PerseusPER3.17547.625 45.013167
PhoenixPHE0.9318333 13.9775-47.41933
PictorPIC5.7076667 85.615-52.525833
PiscesPSC0.4828333 7.242513.687167
Piscis AustrinusPSA22.2845 334.2675-29.357833
PyxisPYX8.9526667 134.29-26.64833
ReticulumRET3.9211667 58.8175-58.0025
SagittaSGE19.650833 294.762518.86133
SagittariusSGR19.099286.485 -27.523167
SculptorSCL0.4386.57 -31.911667
ScutumSCT18.673167 280.0975-8.111333
Serpens CaputSER115.69235.3510
Serpens CaudaSER218.25273.75-6.0
TaurusTAU4.7021667 70.532514.877167
TelescopiumTEL19.325667 289.885-50.963167
Triangulum AustraleTRA16.0825 241.2375-64.612
TucanaTUC23.77733 356.66-64.17
Ursa MajorUMA11.312667 169.6950.721167
Ursa MinorUMI15.0225.0 77.699833
VelaVEL9.577333 143.66-46.832833
VolansVOL7.7955116.9325 -68.198833
VulpeculaVUL20.23133 303.4724.442667

See Also


The following table lists the taxonomy codes that can be used to classify images. WorldWide Telescope has adopted the image hierarchy taxonomy proposed by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance and the Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project's (VAMP) Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM) Standard. Refer to the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project (VAMP) websites.

As an example, a tour of the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon could be classified as Planet>Feature>Surface>Impact.

1 Planet
1.1 [Type]
1.1.1 Terrestrial
1.1.2 Gas Giant
1.2 [Feature]
1.2.1 Surface Mountain Canyon Volcanic Impact Erosion Liquid Ice
1.2.2 Atmosphere Cloud Storm Belt Aurora
1.3 [Special Cases]
1.3.1 Transiting
1.3.2 Hot Jupiter
1.3.3 Pulsar planet
1.4 Satellite
1.4.1 [Feature] Surface Mountain Canyon Volcanic Impact Erosion Liquid Ice Atmosphere
1.5 Ring
2 Interplanetary Body
2.1 Dwarf planet
2.2 Comet
2.2.1 Nucleus
2.2.2 Coma
2.2.3 Tail Dust Gas
2.3 Asteroid
2.4 Meteoroid
3 Star
3.1 [Evolutionary Stage]
3.1.1 Protostar
3.1.2 Young Stellar Object
3.1.3 Main Sequence
3.1.4 Red Giant
3.1.5 Red Supergiant
3.1.6 Blue Supergiant
3.1.7 White Dwarf
3.1.8 Supernova
3.1.9 Neutron Star Pulsar Magnetar
3.1.10 Black Hole
3.2 [Type]
3.2.1 Variable Pulsating Irregular Eclipsing Flare Star Nova
3.2.2 Carbon
3.2.3 Brown Dwarf
3.2.4 Wolf-Rayet
3.2.5 Blue Straggler
3.2.6 Exotic
3.3 [Spectral Type]
3.3.1 O
3.3.2 B
3.3.3 A
3.3.4 F
3.3.5 G
3.3.6 K
3.3.7 M
3.3.8 L
3.3.9 T
3.4 [Population]
3.4.1 I
3.4.2 II
3.4.3 III
3.5 [Feature]
3.5.1 Photosphere Granulation Sunspot
3.5.2 Chromosphere Flare Facula
3.5.3 Corona Prominence
3.6 [Grouping]
3.6.1 Binary
3.6.2 Triple
3.6.3 Multiple
3.6.4 Cluster Open Globular
3.7 Circumstellar Material
3.7.1 Planetary System
3.7.2 Disk Protoplanetary Accretion Debris
3.7.3 Outflow Solar Wind Coronal Mass Ejection
4 Nebula
4.1 [Type]
4.1.1 Interstellar Medium
4.1.2 Star Formation
4.1.3 Planetary
4.1.4 Supernova Remnant
4.1.5 Jet
4.2 [Appearance]
4.2.1 Emission H II Region
4.2.2 Reflection Light Echo
4.2.3 Dark Molecular Cloud Bok Globule Proplyd
5 Galaxy
5.1 [Type]
5.1.1 Spiral
5.1.2 Barred
5.1.3 Lenticular
5.1.4 Elliptical
5.1.5 Ring
5.1.6 Irregular
5.1.7 Interacting
5.1.8 Gravitationally Lensed
5.2 [Size]
5.2.1 Giant
5.2.2 Dwarf
5.3 [Activity]
5.3.1 Normal
5.3.2 AGN Quasar Seyfert Blazar Liner
5.3.3 Starburst
5.3.4 Ultraluminous
5.4 [Component]
5.4.1 Bulge
5.4.2 Bar
5.4.3 Disk
5.4.4 Halo
5.4.5 Ring
5.4.6 Central lack Hole
5.4.7 Spiral Arm
5.4.8 Dust Lane
5.5 [Grouping]
5.5.1 Pair
5.5.2 Multiple
5.5.3 Cluster
5.5.4 Supercluster
6 Cosmology
6.1 [Morphology]
6.1.1 Deep Field
6.1.2 Large-Scale Structure
6.1.3 Cosmic Background
6.2 [Phenomenon]
6.2.1 Lensing
6.2.2 Gamma Ray Burst
6.2.3 Dark Matter
7 Sky Phenomenon
7.1 Night Sky
7.1.1 Constellation
7.1.2 Asterism
7.1.3 Milky Way
7.1.4 Trail Meteor Star Satellite
7.1.5 Zodiacal Light Gegenschein
7.1.6 Night glow
7.2 Eclipse
7.2.1 Solar Total Partial Annular
7.2.2 Lunar Total Partial Penumbral
7.2.3 Occultation
7.2.4 Transit
7.3 Light Phenomenon
7.3.1 Sunrise-Sunset Green flash Refractive Distortion Sun Pillar
7.3.2 Cloud Iridescent Noctilucent Nacreous Corona Glory
7.3.3 Rainbow Moonbow Fogbow
7.3.4 Halo Circle Parhelia Arc
7.3.5 Ray-Shadow Crepuscular ray Anti-crepuscular ray Earth shadow
7.3.6 Lightning
7.3.7 Aurora
8 Technology
8.1 Observatory
8.1.1 Facility
8.1.2 Telescope
8.1.3 Instrument
8.2 Spacecraft
8.2.1 Orbiter
8.2.2 Probe
8.2.3 Lander
8.2.4 Manned

See Also