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Last updated: 2019-11-07

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.

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, Edge)
  • Persistent internet access that supports streaming video

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.

Installing ViewSpace.org to Display the ViewSpace Collection

A. 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).
B. Preparing
  • 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.
C. 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 showing Account Setup page with email and password fields. 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 showing User Profile page with fields to complete.
  4. Once you have submitted the form, your name should appear at the top of the screen. You are now free to use the ViewSpace Collection with your new username and password. Screenshot showing the ViewSpace Collection, Space Collection, and Earth Collection with play buttons for each, on the ViewSpace Video Landing Page.
D. 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 showing the ViewSpace Collection, Space Collection, and Earth Collection with play buttons for each, on the ViewSpace Video Landing Page.
E. 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 Kiosk mode and go to the Video Library. In the future, we will provide functionality to enable users to create custom playlists for kiosk mode.

F. Setting up ViewSpace for Public Display (for Windows OS)

You can set up ViewSpace to play automatically 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.

  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 and pull down to Manage people.

      Screenshot showing the Google Chrome browser showing the drop-down menu from the Profile Icon, and the Manage People button.
    2. Click on Add person.

      Screenshot showing the Manage People page with the Add Person button.
      Screenshot showing the Add Person box with an array of avatars.
    3. In the Add person box,

      1. Choose an avatar.
      2. Give the new user a name.
      3. Click Create a desktop shortcut for the user.
      4. Click Add.

      This should add a shortcut with the new user name to your desktop.

      Screenshot showing the Add Person box with avatars, the name field, the add shortcut checkbox, and the Add button.
      Screenshot showing the desktop shortcut for Google Chrome with the avatar and user name.
  3. Prepare your Autoplay URL.
    1. Log in to ViewSpace.org (https://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 https://viewspace.org/profile.

      Screenshot showing the ViewSpace Video Collection landing page with the user name.
      Screenshot of the top portion of the ViewSpace Profile Page.
    3. Scroll down to the bottom of the profile page. Here you will find your Auto-login URLs. Screenshot of the bottom portion of the ViewSpace User Profile Page, with the Auto-login URLs.

    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 the Chrome desktop shortcut with the drop-down menu and the Properties button.

    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 showing the Shortcut menu of the Properties Box.
      Screenshot showing the Shortcut menu of the Properties box, with the location of the Target field.
      Screenshot showing sample text in the Target field.
    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. But once you close your other Chrome windows and reopen, it should.

Note that this setup is not truly secure: Exiting the app (Alt-F4) will give your guest access to your entire computer.

G. Enabling Sound in Autoplay for Public Display (Kiosk Mode)

Note: Instructions were revised on 10/14/2019 to account for recent changes to Chrome.

Every ViewSpace video is produced with background music. However, a recent 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 ViewSpace User Profile page with the drop-down menu for sound and the Update Sound button.
  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.
  3. In your Chrome Browser, go to Settings. Screenshot showing the Google Chrome browser with the Customize and control drop-down menu, and the Settings button.
  4. Click on Advanced to expand more options, and click on Privacy and Security. Screenshot showing the Settings page with the Advanced drop-down menu.
  5. Select Site Settings. Screenshot of the Privacy and Security section of the Settings page, with the Site Settings button.
  6. Click on the Sound option. Screenshot of the Site Settings section of the Settings page, with the Sound button.
  7. Toggle Allow sites to play sound to the On position. Screenshot showing the Sound settings section and the on-off toggle for sound.
  8. Add Viewspace.org as one of the Allowed websites. Screenshot showing the Add a site pop-up with the site URL field and the Add button.
  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.