Creating Individual Star Charts

Final Star Chart I wanted to create a way that the user could simply type in the date, time, and latitude for their observation and the computer would calculate and display a printable star chart custom made for them. Due to current limitations in technology, I had to actually create any star charts I wanted the users to have access to. Because I am doing this for my class, I therefore decided to limit the charts to 42° N latitude, and I made them at 10° intervals.
View All the Star Charts I Created As a Rotating .gif
Making a Printable Map in ArcView
Final Star Chart
Double click in that box to open up the legend editor.  You want graduated color with vt_mag as your classification field.  I made the brightest stars biggest and colored them all black.

Now go to view->properties and put in your latitude.  Longitude has to do with time of day and year, but a central meridian of 40 seems to work fairly well for October.

The final step in ArcView is to print it and flip it horizontally.  You have a star chart!  I've found Casseopia, the Little Dipper, and Orion.  What else can you find?
View My First Star Chart
Using Photoshop to Create Individual Star Charts
Final Star Chart

Once I had the individual star charts on ArcView, I took a screen shot of each one (hit printscreen, then paste into a new photoshop document), and pasted them in separate layers in photoshop. (I discovered that once you have an appropriately sized document (which you get by having the screenshot on the clipboard when you hit new document in photoshop), it will automatically paste it into a new layer so you don't have to create one each time.)

Now that you have all of the images in, you can crop them all together. Be sure to leave some extra room all around the star chart, because even choosing "Show Full Extent" doesn't line up the star charts exactly. (You will notice in the rotating .gif that the image appears to rise and fall.)

Now that everything is in layers, you can crop them all at once, and export them one at a time by only showing the layer you want to export.

Oh, and don't forget! ArcView is used to displaying things on Earth, so you need to flip the whole kit & kaboodle horizontally to get the star charts to look right.

Download Photoshop Document
Using ImageReady to Create a Rotating .gif
Final Star Chart

Take this same document in ImageReady, and create a bunch of frames where in each frame only one layer is visible. At this point you can export this into a rotating .gif. The one at the left is .1s per frame.

View Rotating .gif
Urban Planning: Final Project, Presentation Outline
Data Acquisition, Star Chart Creation, Calculating on a Web Site  
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Daniel D. Slosberg |
December 10, 2003