Google today has released a more complete implementation of the Google Sky data to Google Maps. Back in mid-December Google released an API to sky so you could make mashups with Google Sky data for use with the Google Maps web-based interface. However, it didn’t allow you full access to all the layers available in Google Earth’s version. According to the post at the Official Google Blog, a code jam winner who became an intern at Google was given the opportunity to develop a full Maps interface for Sky – and the results were released today at: Sky.Google.Com
The new release sports some nice features which lets you view many of the new layers which were introduced to the Google Earth Sky interface back in January. This includes the full-sky microwave layer, samples from the Spitz Infrared space telescope, and much more. Not only that, but there are handy opacity (transparency) sliders which let you compare one frequency with another. Just today I was remarking on the way to do this in a post about a new add-on for the Earth-based Sky which shows a bunch of other wavelengths from NASA’s Skyview database (read the bottom of the post under “Advanced tips“). I may have to do a video tutorial explaining how to use this feature. Right now its easier to use the transparency feature in this new Maps-based version. (I do wish there was a name change to differentiate between the Google Sky mode in Google Earth verses the new Google Sky mode for Google maps.) Anyway, I’m glad to see yet another way to view the data. I love astronomy!
Watch the short video Google put up in their post today which gives you a brief glimpse at the features:
Thanks to Mickey Mellen of Digital Earth Blog for actually calling me on the phone to let me know about this new announcement! He knew I would like it.