Spreading the cosmic love.
When Google launched the Sky Map app back in 2009, it was a good proof of concept demo to show how precise the GPS and internal gyroscope and proximity sensors are on first generation Android devices. As the global community of Android users has increased, and perhaps in part due to there not being a high profile app for charting the skies, Google has decided to make their Sky Map go open source.
“Today, we are delighted to announce that we are going to share Sky Map in a different way: we are donating Sky Map to the community. We are collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University in an exciting partnership that will see further development of Sky Map as a series of student projects. Sky Map’s development will now be driven by the students, with Google engineers remaining closely involved as advisors. Additionally, we have open-sourced the app so that other astronomy enthusiasts can take the code and augment it as they wish,” posted the Google team on their blog.
So good luck to all the budding astronomers out there, who have a knack for Android app development. Sky Map is a powerful platform to develop on for a full fledged augmented reality app to map out the sky. Better graphics, in-depth information on star clusters, galaxies and planets would be much welcomed on the existing, barebones app.