Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Google Sky Maps

SIMBAD Astronomical Database and Google Sky

Google Maps mash-ups of Google Sky come along very rarely so I was very excited to discover this mash-up of Google Sky with the SIMBAD Astronomical database today. What makes it even more exciting is that it is an awesome accomplishment.

In design and interaction this mash-up resembles Google's own web based Sky. However it is so much more than Google Sky. When you search for a celestial object in Google Sky you are shown the resulting map tiles in your browser. If you undertake the same search in the SIMBAD Astronomical Database and Google Sky you not only get to view the stunning imagery of Google Sky but you receive all the data available from the SIMBAD database as well.

Truly awesome!

Mapperz has contacted me with some other interesting Google Sky news.

First off, Google Sky is now localised so non-English speakers can browse Google Sky in their own language. For example, here is the Turkish language Google Sky.

Secondly, there are two examples of Google Sky mash-ups in the Google Maps API Demo gallery. One, by Pamela Fox, is a demonstration of all the different planetary types available in the Google Maps API. The second, by Mapperz, is an example of an image overlay on Google Sky.

Previously Featured Google Sky Mash-ups

Hertszptung-Russell Diagram

The Barnabu blog has produced an interactive Hertszprung Russell Diagram map of 3000 nearby stars. The map uses the Goolgle Earth plug-in to portray a scatter plot of stars’ luminosity vs colour.

The map displays 3000 nearby stars from the Hipparcos catalogue. The European Space Agency's Hipparcos satellite operated for four years between November 1989 to March 1993 and was dedicated to the measurement of stellar parallax and the proper motions of stars.

HeyWhat'sThat Cosmic Visibility
screen shot of heywhatsthat
HeyWhat'sThat is a website that generates a horizon view for any given location. The site includes the option to open a 'Sky' view that overlays the celestial sphere with the horizon, visible summits and an azimuth-altitude grid for that location at the current time.

HeyWhat'sThat also uses the Google Earth browser plug-in to portray the night sky.

Star Viewer
star viewer screen shot
This is my own mash-up of Google Sky and videos of celestial animations from the European Space Agency and YouTube.

A number of celestial objects are presented in a right hand menu. If you click on one of the menu items the celestial object is shown on a map of the night sky. If you click on the tagged object a video animation is then displayed on top of the map.


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