Sun Surveyor shines with Street View

SEP 16, 2013
Author PhotoBy Monica Tran, Google Maps API Team

This week's Map of the Week post from the Geo team features Adam Ratana's Sun Surveyor app, which allows photographers, gardeners and builders to visualize sun and moon paths over locations around the world. The Sun Surveyor app has both Map and Augmented Reality views, which not only let you see the sun and moon paths over satellite imagery, but also via your phone's camera, while you're onsite at the shoot.

Visualizing the sun and moon paths in Augmented Reality and Map views

Adam's users requested the ability to visualize the sun and moon paths on top of Street View panoramas, which would give them a better IRL (in real life) approximation of lighting for their photo shoots. When Street View launched in the Google Maps SDK for iOS, Adam did just that, bringing the feature to life for users in just a weekend.

Visualizing sun and moon paths on top of Manhattanhenge in Sun Surveyor

We were impressed by his clever use of overlays to mimic the sun and moon path polylines that you see in the app. In his three-step tutorial on the Geo Developers Blog, Adam walks us through his approach to implementing overlays in Street View by:
  1. Creating an overlay on top of the panorama upon which to draw the items
  2. Synchronizing the positions of the overlay items with the panorama as it moves
  3. Determining which data are visible and where on the screen to draw them
Check out Adam's post on the Geo Developers Blog for code snippets and details on the sample project.

And in the meantime, enjoy following the sun and moon to distant locations in Sun Surveyor.

Adéle Penguin Rookery, Antarctica (from the Antarctica Collection)

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii (from the Google Maps Ocean project)


Stonehenge (from the UNESCO World Heritage Collection)

Adam Ratana is a Carnegie Mellon University graduate living in, and loving, Pittsburgh, PA. He produces dance music as a member of Pittsburgh Track Authority, enjoys photography, traveling with his wife, and writing fun software in his free time. Adam also enjoys attending the Pittsburgh Cocoaheads chapter meetings.

Sun Surveyor visualizes the sun and moon in a variety of ways for photographers, filmmakers, solar industry professionals, architects, homebuyers, gardeners, and anyone needing to predict or understand the movement of the sun and moon.

Monica Tran joins us from our Google Maps API team in Sydney, where she helps developers tell stories and build businesses with maps.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor