Last week the semi-annual International Virtual Observation Alliance (IVOA) meeting was held in Baltimore. SkyView got a few mentions notably it’s library for transformation among world coordinate systems and a little bit when we saw a new version of the WorldWideTelescope. The biggest thing though, was the suggestion that SkyView-in-a-Jar should implement the SAMP protocol. SAMP (the Simple Applications Messaging Protocol) is a way for desktop applications to communicate. It’s under development in the VO. It has already been implemented in a number of powerful tools like Aladin and TOPCAT.
The idea of SAMP is that one application tells others about information that it has received or generated. The way that this would work with SkyView is that when SkyView generates an image it sends out a little broadcast alert to all of the other SAMP compatible applications that are listening. Those applications can then use that information internally — probably by grabbing the image themselves. E.g., you can generate an image or images in SkyView and those images will magically get uploaded into your Aladin session without any further intervention.
We hope to have this included in SkyView by the end of next week. If anyone has other ideas for what we could do with SAMP, drop us a line.