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ViewSpace Collection vs. ViewSpace Library

This guide explains how to set up ViewSpace to play the ViewSpace Collection of videos automatically on a monitor in a museum, science center, library, or other informal education venue.


Access a PDF version of the information on this page. Last updated: 2022-12-20

The ViewSpace Video Collections

A. Exhibit System Requirements

To display the ViewSpace Collection properly, make sure you have all of the following:

  • Digital display (e.g., computer monitor)
  • A modern web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
    • Note that Chrome is best suited to support Kiosk mode (see Section G below)
  • Persistent internet access that supports streaming video

B. Receiving an Invitation

In order to register for the ViewSpace Collection, you will need to be invited into the system. The invitation will arrive in the form of an e-mail from ViewSpace Support (support@viewspace.org).

  • If you are expecting the e-mail but have not received it, check your junk or quarantined e-mail.
  • If you have not been sent an invitation but would like one, contact ViewSpace Support (support@viewspace.org).

C. Preparing for Installation

  • Make sure the operating system of the computer you plan to use is up to date.
  • Make sure your system is in a location where you will be comfortable working on it.
  • Make sure you have reliable internet access.
  • Access your e-mail invitation from ViewSpace Support.

D. Signing Up

  1. Open the Accept Invitation link in the e-mail from ViewSpace Support. This will take you to the Account Setup page.
  2. Register by creating a password of your choice. Screenshot of the ViewSpace Account Setup page showing fields for e-mail and password. Note that the e-mail shown is the e-mail that your invitation was sent to. If you want to register under a different e-mail, please contact support@viewspace.org.
  3. Complete your User Profile. Note that if not all required fields are completed, you will be prompted to fill them in. Don’t forget to read and accept the terms and conditions. Screenshot of the ViewSpace User Profile page showing fields such as name, phone, and job title.
  4. Once you have submitted the form, your name should appear at the top of the screen. You are now free to use ViewSpace with your new username and password. Screenshot of the ViewSpace Video Collections page showing a successful log in and the user’s name at the top right.

E. Opening ViewSpace.org

Once you have registered, you may access ViewSpace via the internet from anywhere.

  1. Navigate to https://viewspace.org.
  2. Enter your username and password.
  3. Choose from one of three playlists:
    • The ViewSpace Collection plays all Earth and space shows
    • The Space Collection plays shows focused on the Solar System, galaxy, and universe beyond Earth
    • The Earth Collection plays shows focused on Earth
Screenshot of the ViewSpace Video Collections page showing clickable images for the ViewSpace Collection, the Space Collection, and the Earth Collection.

F. Controlling the Video

Once you have signed up and opened ViewSpace, you have some control over the video while it is playing.

To Press
Pause/Play Left click on your mouse
Skip to next video Right arrow ➜
Toggle between full screen and windowed view f
Toggle mute on and off m
Show Help ?


To view specific videos, exit the Collection and go to the Video Library.

G. Auto-play for Public Display

You can set up ViewSpace to play automatically (Kiosk Mode) after restarting the computer, without logging in. This allows you to run ViewSpace as seamlessly as possible, without training many additional staff. The following instructions describe how to do this using Google Chrome (Windows OS); other web browsers may not support this functionality.

  1. Set up Google Chrome to start automatically.
    • Change your settings so that Google Chrome will start up automatically after the computer is rebooted. (You may need to get assistance from your IT specialist.) We have not included instructions here because the procedure differs from system to system.

    • NOTE: It is ok to skip this step altogether, or skip it for now and complete it later. If you do not perform this step, ViewSpace will still work, but you will need to restart Chrome every time the computer is restarted.

  2. Create a Kiosk Persona.

    Using a Kiosk Persona allows you to display ViewSpace without revealing any personal or institutional data.

    1. Open Google Chrome and click on your Profile icon at the top right.

    2. Click on Add to set up a new Chrome profile.

      Screenshot of the Google home page showing the user profile dropdown menu and the 'Add' option circled.
    3. Click on Continue without account.

      Screenshot of the Google Chrome page with 'Set up your new Chrome Profile' with 'Continue without an account' button circled.
    4. Customize your Chrome profile

      1. Give the new user a name.
      2. Pick an avatar.
      3. Choose a theme.
      4. Click Create a desktop shortcut for the user.
      5. Click Done.

      You should now have a Chrome shortcut with the new user name on your desktop.

      Screenshot of Google Chrome page titled 'Customize your Chrome Profile' with a dragon avatar and name 'Dragon McDragonface, Jr.'
      Desktop shortcut to Google Chrome with the dragon icon, labeled Dragon McDragonFace, Jr.
  3. Retrieve your Autoplay URL.
    1. Log in to ViewSpace.org with your username and password.

    2. Go to your User Profile by clicking on your name (usually in the top right corner) or going to Viewspace.org/profile.

      Screenshot of the ViewSpace Collections page with Profile button in the upper right circled.
      Screenshot of the User Profile information fields.
    3. Scroll down to the bottom of the profile page. Here you will find your Auto-login URLs. Screenshot of the User Profile page zoomed in to the Authentication Token Information. The auto-logins for the ViewSpace Collection, Space Collection, and Earth Collection are circled.

    4. Copy the Auto-login URL of the collection that you want (ViewSpace, Space, or Earth). Note that this URL includes your authentication token and is unique to you.

    5. Keep the window open for easy access in the next step.

  4. Set up your Kiosk Persona to play ViewSpace automatically.
    1. Right-click on the Shortcut for your new Kiosk Persona, which should be on your desktop (not on the taskbar link) and select Properties. Screenshot of a desktop showing the dropdown menu from the Google Chrome shortcut for Dragon McDragonface. The Properties option is circled.

    2. In the Shortcut menu,

      1. Select Target.
      2. Add “ --kiosk” (space hyphen hyphen kiosk, without the quotation marks) to the end of the Target text.
      3. Then add the playlist Auto-login URL that you copied from your profile page (see previous step): "  [playlist name]" (space space playlist name, without the quotation marks) after “kiosk”.
      4. Click Apply.
      Screenshot of the Chrome Properties dialog box with the Shortcut tab displayed. The field for Target is circled and the text in that field is highlighted.
      Screenshot of the Chrome Properties dialog box with the Shortcut tab displayed. The field for Target is circled.
      Screenshot of the Chrome Properties dialog box with the Shortcut tab displayed. The field for Target is circled showing the series of letters and numbers that have been added to the field text. The Apply button is circled.
    3. Click on the Shortcut to your Kiosk Persona to test it. If the settings are correct, your preferred playlist should now open in the Kiosk Persona user account in full-screen mode.

      • On the first launch, you may need to sign in. To avoid having to enter your username and password each time, choose Save when prompted to save your password.
      • Note that this will not open in full-screen if you already have Chrome open. Once you close your other Chrome windows and reopen, it should.

Note that this setup is not secure: Exiting the app (Alt-F4) will give a guest the opportunity to access your entire computer. To increase security, we recommend keeping the keyboard inaccessible to the public.

H. Enabling Sound in Auto-play

Every ViewSpace video is produced with background music. However, a 2019 update of Google Chrome prevents advertisements with sound from playing automatically. Because this functionality affects all videos, including those on ViewSpace, the default for ViewSpace auto-play is now set for no sound.

To enable the sound during auto-play:

  1. On the user profile page, set Sound with auto-login to yes and click on Update Sound. Screenshot of the Authentication Token Information section of the User Profile page on ViewSpace. The dropdown menu for 'Sound with auto-login' is open and circled. 'Yes' is highlighted.
  2. You’ll get a pop up reminder to view the Setup Guide. Click OK. Screenshot showing the pop-up reminder to view the setup guide, and the OK button is circled.
  3. Open the Chrome shortcut to the profile you set up for Kiosk Mode, and go to Settings. Screenshot showing the Google Chrome browser with the Customize and control drop-down menu. The Settings option is circled.
  4. Click on Privacy and Security. Screenshot of the Google Chrome Settings screen with the Privacy and security option circled.
  5. Select Site Settings. Screenshot of the Google Chrome Settings/Privacy and security screen with the Site Settings option circled.
  6. Click on the Sound option. (You may need to expand Additional Content Settings.) Screenshot of the Google Chrome Settings/Privacy and security/Site Settings screen with the Additional Content Settings: Sound option circled.
  7. Click on Sites can play sound. Screenshot of the Google Chrome Settings/Privacy and security/Site Settings/Sound screen with the 'Sites can play sound' radio button highlighted and circled.
  8. Add Viewspace.org as one of the Allowed websites. Screenshot of the Google Chrome Settings/Privacy and security/Site Settings/Sound screen with the Allowed to play sound option with Add button circled.
    Screenshot of the Google Chrome Settings/Privacy and security/Site Settings/Sound screen greyed out with a popup for Add a site. 'viewspace.org' has been typed into the field. There is an Add button at the bottom right of the popup.
  9. Test the new setup by clicking on the shortcut you created earlier to start ViewSpace in kiosk mode.  If ViewSpace starts with sound, success!  If not, please review these steps.

Installing the Web App

The Viewspace Interactives Web App gives users access to the ViewSpace interactives on a desktop or mobile device, without the ability to easily navigate away from ViewSpace to other websites or apps. The Web App is particularly useful when demonstrating and providing guided access to the interactives.

A. Desktop (Chrome)

  1. Open the Chrome browser and log in to ViewSpace.
  2. At the top right of the address bar, click the Install ViewSpace Interactives button. Screenshot of the ViewSpace home screen on Google Chrome. On the browser bar at the top right, a download icon is circled. Below the icon is a popup with the words Install app? ViewSpace Interactives. In the bottom right is a highlighted button labeled Install.
  3. Click on Install.
    • A shortcut to the Web App will appear on your desktop. Screenshot of a desktop with a shortcut icon labeled ViewSpace Interactives.
    • In addition, the next time you log in, the install button will be replaced with a link to open the Web App.
      Screenshot of the ViewSpace Collections page. On the right side of the browser bar is a launch icon that is circled. Below the icon is a popup with the words Open with and ViewSpace Interactives. A highlighted Open button is at the bottom right of the popup.

B. Mobile (iOS)

  1. Open viewspace.org in Safari.
  2. Click on the share icon.
    Screenshot of the ViewSpace home screen on Safari. A share icon (a square with an arrow pointing upward) is in the upper right and is circled in red.
  3. Choose the Add to Home Screen option.
    Screenshot of the ViewSpace home screen on Safari showing a dropdown menu. The option "Add to Home Screen" is circled in red.
  4. Click Add. This will install the Web App to the device.
    Screenshot of the ViewSpace home screen. In the upper right is the Add the Home Screen menu, with the Add option circled in red.
  5. The ViewSpace app icon should now appear on your home or app screen.
    Screenshot of the mobile app screen with a shortcut icon labeled ViewSpace. The icon is greenish-blue and includes an illustration of Earth surrounded by atmosphere, with stars and a galaxy above.
  6. To prevent users from navigating away from the app, set up Guided Access. Open the Accessibility menu within Settings, and click on Guided Access.
    Screenshot showing the Settings menu on the left with the Accessibility option highlighted. On the right is the Accessibility menu with Guided Access circled in red.
  7. Toggle on Guided Access and follow the instructions to set up a passcode. (Note that Guided Access will apply to all of your apps, not just ViewSpace.)
    Screenshot showing the Settings menu on the left with the Accessibility option highlighted. On the right is the Guided Access box. The Guided Access on/off toggle is circled in red.


Support and Communication

If you have trouble following anything in this document, or do not find the answers to your questions in this document, or if you have any feedback, contact us directly at: support@viewspace.org.