The Data2Dome

A Standard for Dome Content Distribution

www.data2dome.org

Astronomy is a dynamic discipline, with new press releases, images, videos and data being published every day. Today, however, this flow of exciting new content is typically not integrated in planetariums: Rather than bringing the latest science into the dome hours or even minutes after it is published, new data is typically presented days or even weeks thereafter — and often never, as there are so many barriers. In this way, the planetarium — usually expected to be the local hub of astronomy education — lags behind blogs, newspapers, TV and other media. The Data2Dome (D2D) project aims to streamline content flow from research institutions to planetariums, offering the audience a unique opportunity to access to the latest data from space in near real time.

Vision

The D2D system seamlessly integrates astronomy data into today’s real-time fulldome planetarium systems. Content, and metadata describing this content, is fed via a reasonably fast Internet connection (10-20 Mbit/s and up) into the planetarium system in an automated way, significantly reducing the workload for the planetarium operator.

Every morning, planetarium presenters around the world will be able to access a menu to select interesting news and fresh datasets — news, sky event data, historical event data and more (see the use cases below) — and mark the full datasets and metadata up for download for possible inclusion in show segments during the day. Some of these items may be under embargo and will only be shown when they are public. In some sense, the presenter becomes an “Astronomical Weatherman”, able to report on fresh events as they take place.

Read the paper here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zRw5OjvqPByHac2auNtXIh4zYIW0rFU1vKhsnvTfTDI/edit#

Use Cases under implementation and corresponding JSON feeds

Only a small subset of data types are implemented to start with:

Images (or Stills if you prefer)

  1. Videos
  2. Events
  3. News
  4. Audio
  5. 3D models

(Later, more complicated data types can come.)

The following are use cases which are currently being implemented by Content Providers. The number of events indicates the number of data items that are already available. The increment per year means the growth of new data items per use case per year.

Meta-feed

The Content Providers publishes a meta-feed. This feeds contains generic information about the content provider (name, logo, description, etc.), as well as a list of the available data feeds available along with the names and types. The Content Providers must guarantee that everything in the cloud is free to use for the planetariums (preferably under a Creative Commons Attribution license, see Davies & Christensen, 2016).

Meta-feed

A new press release

  1. An Earth-like extrasolar planet is announced by NASA.
  2. Within hours a human curator finds the press release interesting and features it.
  3. The D2D JSON file is updated within minutes to contain the new press release metadata.
  4. Soon after (to be determined by the vendor) the news will appear in the the D2D presenter menu under News.
  5. The release has the necessary metadata to characterise the content, and points to Data/high-res assets (at least an image).
  6. A lecturer thinks this is relevant news, flies to the host star, downloads assets and presents them to the audience.
  7. Number of events: Around 100

Increment per year: 3500
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by the Portal to the Universe module of D2D (PTTU is a Content Provider, a project sponsored by ESO, ESA/Hubble and the IAU). Press releases from all astronomy and space organisations globally are crawled and syndicated by PTTU.
JSON feed

Sky Event

  1. Tonight is a lunar eclipse!
  2. The event appears in the presenter menu.
  3. As it is ranked highly, the presenter brings this event up in today’s Sky at Night shows. The associated assets (images, flat videos and fulldome videos) are downloaded, automatically distributed to all render nodes of the planetarium system and available for instant presentation. Furthermore, the lecturer is supplied with background information concerning the event, such as the times of key milestones.

Number of events: Around 600.
Increment per year: 300
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by the AstroCalendar module of D2D. AstroCalendar is a project of ESO, for the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre (a new planetarium at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching bei München).
JSON feed

Historical Event

  1. It’s July 20th.
  2. The D2D menu highlights an event about the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
  3. The planetarium operator bring this event up in today’s Sky at Night shows. The associated assets (images, all-sky images, flat videos and fulldome videos) are downloaded, automatically distributed to all render nodes of the planetarium system and available for instant presentation. Furthermore, the lecturer is supplied with background information concerning the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Number of events: Around 300.
Increment per year: 5
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by the AstroCalendar module of D2D. AstroCalendar is a project of ESO, for the ESO Supernova.
JSON feed

The Chelyabinsk meteorite

  1. An important event like the Chelyabinsk meteorite fall takes place.
  2. It happens too fast for a press release to appear, but a blog contains a link to a high-resolution video of the Chelyabinsk event.
  3. The D2D menu highlights the blog article.
  4. Due to its importance and actuality the asset soars in the ranking.
  5. It is quickly discovered by presenters worldwide in the GUI.
  6. Asset is displayed on domes worldwide hours after the event.

Number of events: Around a few.
Increment per year: a few
Implementation: This use case will also be implemented by the Portal to the Universe module of D2D (blogs can be featured in D2D also).
Blogs JSON feed.

Hubble images

  1. The Presenter needs an image of the interesting Wolf-Rayet object WR 124.
  2. He/she searches the metadata in the Vendor Cloud, and finds a Hubble image.
  3. The 3.8 MB 1300 pixel image Data are marked for download and are displayed on the dome with just a few seconds delay.

Number of items: Around 5000
Increment per year: Around 200.
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by ESA/Hubble for ESA.
JSON feed

ESO images

  1. The presenter needs an image of the interesting Flame Nebula.
  2. He/she searches the metadata in the Vendor Cloud, and finds an ESO image.
  3. The 145 MB 7000 x 9000 pixels image Data are marked for download and are displayed on the dome after some minutes.

Number of items: Around 11,000
Increment per year: Around 600.
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by ESO.
JSON feed

ESO Videos (flat and fulldome)

  1. The presenter needs a video of a fly-around of a globular cluster.
  2. He/she searches the metadata in the Vendor Cloud, and finds a ESO fulldome video.
  3. The 9.4 GB 4k frames Data package is marked for download and are displayed on the dome after some hours.

Number of items: Around 3000
Increment per year: Around 150.
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by ESO.
JSON feed

ESO Audio Tracks

  1. The presenter needs a video of a piece  of music to accompany a presentation.
  2. He/she searches the metadata in the Vendor Cloud, and finds a ESO audio track.
  3. He/she previews the music.
  4. The 20 MB data package is marked for download and can be played back after some seconds.

Number of items: Around 400
Increment per year: Around 100.
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by ESO.
ESON Feed

ESO 3D Models

  1. The presenter needs a model of a spacecraft.
  2. He/she searches the metadata in the Vendor Cloud, and finds an ESO 3D Model.
  3. The small Data package is marked for download and is displayed on the dome after some seconds.

Number of items: Around 10
Increment per year: Around 2.
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by ESO.
JSON feed

Hubble Videos (flat and fulldome)

  1. The Presenter needs a video of the super-Earth 55 Cancri e.
  2. He/she searches the metadata in the Vendor Cloud, and finds a Hubble flat UHD video.
  3. The 100 MB Ultra HD H.265 frames Data package is marked for download and is displayed on the dome after some minutes.

Number of items: Around 1100
Increment per year: Around 50.
Implementation: This use case will be implemented by ESA/Hubble for ESA.
JSON feed