Reconsidering Google Sky


DaveP has a point.  Google Sky is not just another planetarium program.  Which is good, because as ‘just another planetarium program’ it sucks.   I was underwhelmed by the lack of coverage near the poles, and what’s up with that chrysanthemum  thingie  anyway?  There are broad fields of imagery that are obviously stitched together,  which I guess is to be expected,  since the same effect can be seen on Google Earth.

However, Dave points out that in his view the point and purpose of GS is not to be yet another planetarium, but rather as a vehicle for  sharing imagery, observation logs, or other sky data.

Now, maybe it’s because I’m a professional computer geek, and because I work with, on or inside computers all day, and because amateur astronomy is my escape, that I just don’t feel very motivated to go out and start hacking in KML.   I read Dave’s post, and while I agree that he has a point about the purpose of Google Sky, the point just doesn’t motivate me at all.

I can see people using GS as an educational tool, perhaps in a classroom setting, or perhaps in an online, collaborative environment.   My problem is that it’s just not *me*.  I want to get out under the stars and look at things, which is one of the reasons why I shy away from astrophotography.   I enjoy other people’s pictures, I just have no desire to go do it myself.

So, if people find GS a useful tool, I’m all for it.  I just don’t think I will, and my previously stated reasons stand.

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One thought on “Reconsidering Google Sky

  1. I agree. GS is “fun” but I’ll stick with real planetarium and observing session software for doing serious things. Plus, I don’t have internet way out in the sticks at my observatory. So no to GS out there, and yes to Starry Night, The Sky, etc.

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