Working with Astronomers Without Borders, GIS software company Esri built a Transit of Venus web map application that instantaneously displays data from amateur astronomers. Using a free smartphone application, these citizen scientists from around the world were able to capture their observations of the transit of Venus in early June and have their timing measurements immediately published on a map on www.esri.com. Since the eighteenth century, astronomers’ measurements of the rare event of Venus passing between the earth and the sun have been used to calculate the distance between the earth and the sun. The Esri Transit of Venus web map application, running on ArcGIS for Server, works in coordination with the iPhone and Android Transit of Venus applications. The web application showed where on Earth the transit was visible and at what times; Tweets, pictures, and videos about the transit; points of observations from the phone application with recorded and predicted times; and an animation of what the transit looked like on the sun and which side of Earth could view it.
Contact Esri, www.esri.com