2007/09/28

IVOA: Final comments, late at night

The ADASS/IVOA marathon is over.
I have seen a lot of interesting application, talked to a lot of people and realized that many believe GoogleSky is a nice interface, but many others believe Google is evil and trying to take the world by storm.

Ryan Scranton presented the GoogleSky interface at the IVOA meeting, with mostly nice reviews and a lot of interest. In particular he said "if GoogleSky is to be successful, we need to provide astronomers with tools". I could not agree more, and we will make sure to push Google to do just that.

Ryan seemed to be honestly interested in delivering tools or products to the astronomical community and this is very good, but we also have to be aware that we it will need time and effort from the community. This is what we have to do and I believe STScI has a large role to play. Not everyone believes this and this is hurting our small collaboration. I am confident they are wrong, simple because single astronomers do not have the credibility of an institution that delivered (and still does) quality products to the public at large and the astronomical community: this is where we can make sure Google does indeed make GoogleSky a great product.

As I wrote in an old email to Google, well before GoogleSky was a reality, after the release and the realization of Phase 1 (GoogleSky to the desktop and available to a large public), we need to focus on serving the small (but vocal) astronomical community for Phase 2.

So here we are Google. STScI is ready to continue to work with you!