Satellites on a Snow Globe Spherical Display

Continuing on the theme of interesting things to do with an interactive globe, I added a live satellite tracking mode to sosg.  The program polls a local PREDICT server for location and visibility information about the satellites being tracked by it.  It draws the name of each satellite and the path it is following in red.  It also draws a little icon that turns green when the satellite is visible overhead. There is enough civilization in close proximity to my apartment that I can’t see actually see one pass by, but it is nice to know they are there above me.  As before, the ISC licensed code is available on github at git://

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9 Replies to “Satellites on a Snow Globe Spherical Display”

  1. This is a great use of the display. In a former position, we were constantly monitoring the position of 3-4 comms satellites to see which ones were able to connect us to the rest of the world. We had a flat PHP-based webpage with bargraphs to show the present 24-hour window of up-times, but this would have been amazing to watch (I would do it with the track in red and an alpha-enhanced footprint of the visibility footprint).

  2. This looks is such a great idea. I had wanted to do something like this, but couldn’t figure out the optics of the spherical focal length, the laser projector was what I was missing!

    I have the fisheye, the projector, and the globe, but my repstrap is not working right now, so I’ll need to improvise a mount. The code appears to be designed for linux, any advise for getting it working? I have a couple Ubuntu 11.04 machines. Calibration is in Python?

  3. I’ve got a patch for sosg for you – a few new lines in sosg.c and in sosg.vert and now the ‘f’ key flips between Northern and Southern hemisphere views (the aforementioned site where we voraciously followed satellite times was the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, so I’ve long held a south-centric affinity).

    How can I get you the mods? I can e-mail diffs for you to evaluate or I could see about getting them on github if I can get credentials/permissions.

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