[Spice_announce] Your chance to influence development of the Cosmographia 3D visualization program

Acton, Charles H (392N) charles.h.acton at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Jun 28 12:01:57 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

The NAIF team hopes you are aware of the Cosmographia 3D mission visualization program available from the NAIF website here:

This program, originally authored by private citizen Chris Laurel, has been adopted by NAIF for SPICE-based and other enhancements in support of science and engineering functions in the solar system exploration domain.

Starting this Fall NAIF will have some resources to further enhance the Cosmographia program. We have some ideas about what to do, but we’re very interested to hear from you about suggestions that could make Cosmographia better—whether by adding functionality or improving its usability. If you have any such ideas, we encourage you to send them in an email to NAIF management: charles.acton (at) jpl.nasa.gov.  We can’t promise we’ll act on your suggestions, but we will give them consideration.

There is a variety of solar system geometry visualization software available throughout the community, with each package having its own niche; Cosmographia is just one such tool. It’s nice that folks can pick the software that best suits their needs.

-- The NAIF Team


Some Cosmographia information:

- Free to all (binaries only)
- Versions exist for Mac, Linux and Windows
- Fully utilizes SPICE capabilities:
    +  It can be used on any mission for which SPICE kernels exist
    +  It provides very accurate renderings of solar system and instrument observation geometry
- Uses JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) files to set up program operation:
    +  A utility program, jsongen, is available to help create or edit JSON files
-  A Python scripting interface is available (except for the Windows version)
-  Download packages come with some example JSON catalog files and SPICE meta-kernels for several missions
    +  (The actual kernels needed to run these examples are readily available from the NAIF server)
-  An on-line User’s Guide is available:  https://cosmoguide.org/

Get started by looking here:  http://naif.jpl.nasa.gov/naif/cosmographia.html

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