Android Sky Voodoo

An ex-boss of mine used to describe any really good piece of science as “a New York Times result”. Now an ex-employee of mine has made it to the New York Times. Ex-AstroGridder John Taylor now works for Google, but in his 20% time knocked up a cool astronomical app – Google Sky Map for Android phones. If you point the phone in any direction, it shows you the correct piece of sky. If you type in an astronomical object to search for, it shows which way to turn. As the BA might say, JT is  just made of awesome !!!!! Oh Jeez. Did I really say that ? Shoot me.

The official promo video has some slightly chubby geezer explaining it.On the other hand, you could watch JT himself hamming it up and flirting in public.

Or you could do the same as me while I’ve been writing this : jump into the YouTube Time Machine to catch nine minutes of Hendrix on the Lulu show. Oh thats good. Once you get past the Whispering Bob Harris intro.

6 Responses to Android Sky Voodoo

  1. I find it interesting that your ex-boss thought the New York Times had the ability to determine what is a “really good piece of science”.

    The NYT does cover Google and mobile phones obsessively however, possibly because journalists depend on both of those every day. Perhaps the lesson is that the next time a scientist does a really good piece of science they should promote it through a Google mobile phone app so that their boss will read about in the NYT?

  2. Niall says:

    Look up Kapteyn’s star sky, it’s a bit odd. I think it probably shows they use the blue image as some kind of master epoch.

  3. Nick Cross says:

    They need to do Google Synoptic Sky – where objects move and vary in brightness depending on the date that you put in. They already do that for solar system objects, so they have some of the code to do it already. With PanSTARRS, LSST and Gaia, the data to do it will be available.

  4. andyxl says:

    Who other than we small handful of pro astronomers would want to know ? Apart from the solar system, where Joe Public may well find looking up the position of Saturn tonight fund and useful.

  5. Nick Cross says:

    It might come about anyway, since Google Sky is part of Google Earth and people would be interested in how parts of Earth change over time.

  6. […] on the project is a software engineer who used to work on AstroGrid, John Taylor (h/t to Andy for flagging that up). Check out the video below from the application launch at the recent Google Searchology event (the […]

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