Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mapping sun position, anywhere

There are thousands of mapping applications on the web, many very pretty. Some are more useful than others. Occasionally I stumble on something that ends up on my list of favourite tools. SunCalc map is one of such applications. It is a simple map that shows sun movement and sunlight phases during any given day, at any given location around the world. There is nothing much to it – just click on the map in the desired location (or search for a specific locations) then select a date and you will be presented with a full set of information about sun movement for that location.

For example, you can see on the map sun positions at sunrise, specified time and sunset. The thin orange curve is the current sun trajectory, and the yellow area around is the variation of sun trajectories during the year. The closer a point is to the centre, the higher is the sun above the horizon (i.e. it is representative of a shadow). The colours on the time slider above the map show sunlight coverage hours during the day and there is a small table showing exact times for dawn, sunrise, solar noon, sunset and dusk for any given date.

SunCalc is a very handy tool for home buyers, architects and builders. Perfect, if you want to determine quickly if the sun can reach all those less then optimally positioned rooms in the house or apartment at different times throughout the year. It will help to avoid nasty surprises if it turns out that your main living area is not getting any sun for 6 coldest months of the year!

SunCalc map appears to be rather basic but believe me, a lot is happening “in the background” to present the information on the map almost instantly. SunCalc is built with Google Map API v3, jQuery javascript library and Raphael javascript vector graphic library. How about reliability of information, you may ask? I can verify that the results are very reliable - I tested the application for my home location. The match between the real direction of the sun in the sky and on the map was very accurate.

First spotted on Google Maps Mania.

Maps and property investment
Sydney house prices
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