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SKY-MAP.ORG / WIKISKY • View topic - API

API

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API

Postby jkielkopf » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:40 pm

We're hoping to use sky-map for our students as part of an interactive interface to operate telescopes remotely. The University of Louisville and the University of Southern Queensland run remotely operable observatories for university and K-12 students http://www.sharedskies.org. Our uses include some degree of real-time control while the telescopes would run autonomously on a queue schedule otherwise.

The display options of sky-map are excellent for this use, and the API allow us to show where a telescope is pointed, and allow students to select potential targets. Short of having them re-enter coordinates from sky-map onto our applications, is there a way to use sky-map that would enable a query of the center of the field that's been selected by the user? For example, with google maps "sky" we can use javascript to have the application return information to the browser. It would be nice to be able to capture the center of the frame and either use it in a javascript function, or direct it to another website where it could be parsed into a request.

Any thoughts on this, advice, or experience would be appreciated.
jkielkopf
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:40 pm

Re: API

Postby AstroBach » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:50 pm

Hello,
I am just working on a similar task: I try to enhance my own telescope control program ("Fokuspokus") with GOTO and I will use Sky-Map or Google Sky for this.
My program is in Visual Basic and I do it as follows:
First I start with known coordinates - e.g. after entering a star name and requesting the coordinates with the XML-API. Then I open the Sky Window with these coordinates in a webbrowser control and I register on the mouse-down and mouse-up events of the document in the browser. So I can calculate the distance of the mouse-move, when the map was moved. This distance (in pixel) can be easily converted into an angle in x and y (=Ra and De) and you can calculate the new (theoretical) center coordinates of the map. You can synchronize it from time to time by calling sky-map again using your calculated coordinates. I made already a simple prototype program and this works very good.

I hope this helps so far.

But one problem remains: I need to know, when the user changed the scale of the map. Otherwise my calculations are wrong. I can achieve this with Google-Sky by removing the control for the scale. Instead of these buttons I offer my own buttons to the user and of course I know when he pressed them and can react accordingly.
With Sky-Map, I did not find a way to remove them. I would be glad if anyone could help me.
In the new beta V2, you can remove it using the options area in the window. I tried to remove it using an url-parameter, but this did not work.
In general it would be helpful, if all options of the options box could be set by an url parameter

kind regards
AstroBach
AstroBach
 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:07 am

Re: API

Postby AstroBach » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:39 am

Somehow my first reply to your post was lost. So I try again.
I detected the same problem when I tried to use Google-Sky for “Geocoding” my astrophotos and to use it for GOTO. In both cases I have my own visual basic program and integrate Google-Sky or Sky-Map using a Webbrowser-Control. I start the map with known coordinates, e.g. calculated from an object name using the XML-API. Then, when the user moves the map with the mouse, I calculate the angle in Ra and De from the distance of the mouse-movement (in pixels). For G-Sky the conversion in Ra was a little bit tricky. To achieve this I have registered in my VB-program on the mouse-down and mouse-up events of the webbrowser-document object. From time to time, I synchronize by calling the control again with my calculated coordinates. This is currently under development and my prototype program works as expected.
The only problem which is left is: I do not recognize when the user changes then scale of the map. I G-Sky I could remove the scale-control from the map. In Sky-Map, this seems to be impossible. Or does anybody know how this can be done? I think, all options should the controllable via URL-Parameters, e.g. &show_pad_controls=0
AstroBach
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:07 am


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