Monday, May 18, 2009

Sky Map for Android

So I've been much remiss in not mentioning the official release of John Taylor's Sky Map. Yet another of those funky Google products that started off as someone's 20% project and end up with an official Google launch and a less interesting name. What is it with Google and dull product names?

Kevin Serafini introducing Google Sky Map

John's new SkyMap application for Android does stuff that you're not going to get your iPhone to do because of hardware, rather than software, limitations. It makes use of the phone's GPS, accelerometer, and compass to create a window in the sky that moves with your hand.

John Taylor's demo at Google's Searchology Event

John and I actually had a discussion way back when about using the iPhone's GPS to simulate the G1's compass. The iPhone knows your position, so if you walk for a small distance in the direction you're facing, it should be to able to work that out as well...

Of course the question we couldn't resolve was "how far" in the direction you're facing you'd have to go, and in the end we figured it probably wouldn't work all that well. Just one of the reasons I'm looking forward to WWDC, which for once I'm actually going to be at, and the possibility of getting my hands on some new iPhone hardware.

Searching for the Moon

Well done John, very cool. Now, how do I get my hands on a G1 again?

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