KML, GoogleSky and WWT

As mentioned here, Microsoft Virtual Earth will also support KML. To confirm what we learned on OgleEarth, Jonathan Fay (Principal Research Software Design Engineer for the World Wide Telescope at Microsoft Research) has sent this note to the application working group of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance:
It has been noted in the news recently that the new release of Microsoft Virtual Earth supports a subset of KML, and that Microsoft will be working with the geo community to better support interoperable standards.

The news has resulted in a number of e-mails asking if World Wide Telescope will support KML.

The answer is that WWT will support most of the subset of KML supported by Google Sky, but we plan on having native ways of getting data into WWT that will use formats astronomers are already familiar with.

So while we will support the tools already being developed for KML we will also support native vo interfaces in a richer way than having to map thru KML. More details will follow later.

Still there is a lot of interest in KML right now so I have been trying to track down as many KML based astronomy links as I can to make sure they are all tested in WWT as part our release process.

If you have a KML based service I would love to get a link to it so I can test. While we are coding to the KML 2.2 spec, we are also supporting backward compatible dialects that have been deprecated in 2.2 to ensure compatibility.

Please reply privately with any KML service links.

I think this is really great news for astronomy and the virtual observatory. We do need industries and research centers interested in providing avenues to visualize astronomical data!