Localisation of WorldWide Telescope in different languages


    Localisation of the WorldWide Telescope in your language

WorldWide Telescope (or WWT) is a Virtual Planetarium by Microsoft. It is a free software, a tribute to memory of Jim Gray ( ). 

WWT has been designed to let ordinary people wonder the Universe as astronomers see it. Capable of using scientific images stored in the Virtual Observatory format, WWT can takes you in a virtual journey through our Universe using images from variety of ground-based and space telescopes.

 welcome to WWT

In fact, WWT allows you to make your own tours. A special program, WWT Ambassadors, run by Alyssa Goodman and Pat Udomprasert from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics helps to develop customised resources. You may even combine images from your backyard telescope with those from the Hubble in one tour, illustrated with music and narration. Does it sound like a tool which stimulates creativity? 

WWT has been available in English and a few of European languages, but it can actually be easily localised (i.e. translated) into your national language. Polish Hands-On Universe team has developed instruction which you can dowload from here . 

The crucial point is to translate the configuration file, englishfromwebtemplate.tdf, into your national language. It is an ordinary text file which looks like:

1          Select your language

2          This will restore user settings to their default values. Are you sure you want to proceed?

3            Microsoft WorldWide Telescope

4          You need 3d Graphics and DirectX installed to run this application

5          Your tour has unsaved changes. Do you want to save the changes before closing?

6          Tour Editor


You should replace English phrases by ones in your language, keeping the format of one phrase per line. Text should be encoded in the encoding typical for your language (for Polish we have used UTF-8), so we recommend that you use a programmer's text editor for translation, as they allow you to define encoding. Editors like MS-Word, which use their own formats to store text will not produce useful results. The package contains Polish .tdf file as an example.

After the file is translated, look into wwtinterfaceinnationallanguage.doc for instruction how to set up the interface in your national language. Note that printscreens are in Polish, so you have to imagine them in your national language.

Have fun and enjoy trips through the Universe!