WorldWide Telescope SDK: Getting Started

Note: This documentation is preliminary and subject to change.

This document describes the components and purpose of the WorldWide Telescope SDK . The SDK primarily enables applications to be written to transmit data to be rendered in WorldWide Telescope, and to prepare tile pyramids in the correct format for rendering specific regions or specific datasets (such as weather or atmospheric data) for the Earth, or even entire planets or moons.

Table of Contents

See Also


Install and configure any necessary software in the order shown below.




The SDK is installed from the WWTSDK.msi file, and by default files are written to the folder:

%Program Files%\Microsoft Research\WorldWide Telescope SDK

See Also

Components of the SDK

The main components to the SDK:

LCAPI (Layer Control API) SampleThe Layer Control API provides an extensive range of functions to transmit and receive data to and from WorldWide Telescope. The purpose of this API is that it enables custom applications to be built that typically transmit time-series spreadsheet data to WorldWide Telescope to be rendered appropriately, though other layer data (point data, 3d Models, images) can also be handled.

The sample displays a typical use of the LCAPI, displaying a time-series of earthquake data.
WorldWide Telescope LCAPI
Tile Pyramid SDKThis SDK provides samples and source code that enable the tiling of one or multiple images into a format suitable for WorldWide Telescope. The working samples show how to handle a single image, multiple images, DEM (altitude) data, and specific regions rather than an entire planet or moon.

The Tile Generator is included as a fully functional application. This tool takes as input an image in Equirectangular or Mercator projection and a bounding set of coordinates in case the map only covers a section of the world. The output can be either Mercator or Toast projection, both suitable for WorldWide Telescope. An optional plate file can be created, and some details such as credits can be included in the output data files.
WorldWide Telescope SDK

WorldWide Telescope SDK Samples
Sharing ServiceThis includes samples and source code showing how to share tiled pyramids, and also how to build communities and share tours, data and links with colleagues. WorldWide Telescope SDK Samples
Sphere ToasterThe Sphere Toaster is a legacy tool that takes as input a single image (typically of an entire planet or moon) and generates a complete tile pyramid for the image in Toast format, including the required thumbnail image and WTML data files to provide easy access to the pyramid.
Toast format is specific to WorldWide Telescope, and provides a projection that minimizes distortion and enables the north and south pole to be rendered.
WorldWide Telescope Data Tools Guide
Study ChopperThe Study Chopper is a legacy tool that takes an image (typically a telescope image of a distant stellar object) and tiles the image into a format that is usually added to the Sky view of WorldWide Telescope. For example, a very detailed Hubble Space Telescope image of a distant galaxy could be prepared for use as a foreground image in WorldWide Telescope using this tool.
Thumbnail images and WTML data files are also produced by the tool.
WorldWide Telescope Data Tools Guide

See Also

Known Issues

See Also