Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: I
want ViewSpace for my museum! How can I get it?
- A: Just
contact us and we’ll get you
- Q: Is
ViewSpace really free? What’s the catch?
- A: The
production and delivery of ViewSpace is offered at no cost to
museums, planetariums, nature centers, and other venues of “informal
science education” in the USA. (A very modest annual subscription
fee covers our pass-through costs for the networked presentation
software used at your site.) We ask only that you sign a simple form
agreeing to honor the copyright of images and music in the program,
and to send us a picture of ViewSpace running in your facility. International requests are handled
on a case-by-case basis.
- Q: Can
I get ViewSpace on DVD or videotape?
- A: No.
ViewSpace is not a video. For its audience impact, ViewSpace
depends on both the immediacy of fresh astronomy, delivered daily,
and on high-resolution images that simply degrade when reduced
to video resolution. For the same reason, we strongly discourage
users from showing ViewSpace on TV monitors fed by the “TV
out” connector available on some PC video cards.
- Q: How
do you make sure the science is accurate?
- A: As
one of the world’s top astronomical research institutions,
we care about science! All ViewSpace presentations are created
in consultation with active research scientists,
both within and beyond the Space Telescope Science Institute.
- Q: Is
- A: Not
in the limited sense of kids pushing buttons or manipulating mechanisms.
ViewSpace is primarily a means for conveying the amazing fruits
of cutting-edge astronomical research. Because ViewSpace has a
slow, meditative pace, there’s time to soak in the views
and consider the meaning. This is just what people do when they
watch it; they interact with the message. For those
who wish to use ViewSpace as a live speaker support system, there is a
Selectable Menu feature that can be invoked when desired.
- Q: How
long does ViewSpace last?
- A: ViewSpace consists of a long, repeating loop of individual story segments.
Each segment ranges from two or three to as much as 20 minutes.
The whole loop contains well over six hours of content. The segments
are designed so that people with time or interest constraints
can wander in and out and still enjoy the experience. Some people
will stay for extended periods and watch the whole thing.
- Q: The
hardware for ViewSpace will cost from $1,000 to $7,000. Isn’t
that a lot for a small exhibit?
- A: Depending
on your budget, it could be — initially. But you’ll
have an exhibit that doesn’t go out of date, and one
that holds an audience’s
attention. Visitors churn through exhibit spaces at 300 square
feet per minute, on average. For small museums with limited exhibit
space, ViewSpace can really extend and enhance the visitor experience.
- Q: Is
ViewSpace accessible to the hearing impaired?
- A: Uniquely
so. Because ViewSpace doesn’t use spoken narration, all
of the content is conveyed visually, via images and captions.
In this sense, ViewSpace has much more in common with traditional
exhibit panels (images and text) than it does with videos.