The Photographer’s Ephemeris for Desktop: All Change!
Some important news for users of The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) for Desktop: on 2 September 2014, Google will switch off the Google Maps for Flash API. On that date TPE for Desktop will stop working.
When TPE for Desktop was first launched in 2009, we still lived in a pre-iPad world and Steve Jobs had yet to write. Building on Adobe AIR provided a convenient cross-platform technology that allowed users on Windows, Mac and Linux to run the same application.
Since then, the popularity of Flash has declined significantly and Adobe AIR was repurposed towards mobile development. It has served TPE for Desktop well, but it’s time for a change.
A New Photographer’s Ephemeris Web App
Happily, this hasn’t come as a total surprise! We have a new TPE for Desktop ready to step into the breach. The new TPE web app is already live and available at app.photoephemeris.com. You can start using it right now. We’re keeping it in Beta until September 2nd, and will continue to refine it over the coming weeks as you send us your feedback.
The web app runs in a variety of modern browsers. It has been tested in the current versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (11) and Opera. As with the old TPE, it is designed for use on desktop computers or laptops equipped with a mouse or track pad.
One advantage of the web app: you no longer need to install additional software or to continually update to a new version of Adobe AIR. You get the latest version automatically each time you visit the site.
TPE has a loyal following and this is going to be a big change for some. The user interface may look different, but the new web app includes the same functionality as the old desktop version and comes with a number of enhancements.
Celestial events for the day are displayed in the events timeline below the map. At a glance, you can see the day’s information chronologically.
A chart of the sun, and moon’s, journey throughout the day is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Scrolling the time slider changes sun and moon information relative to your selected pin position and date.
New features include:
- Sharing: look up locations; set date and time, then share the URL of the web page
- Saved locations can be used to set the grey pin position as well as the red – great for planning both camera and subject placement
- Six degree shadow circle: this new feature shows sun and moon shadows, and highlights, when the sun or moon sit between +0° and +6° above the horizon – times when there’s often good light (so-called “golden hour”) or when the moon can be photographed against features in the landscape
- Use Google Street View directly from the map
- Timeline and chart toggle on and off to increase map “real estate” – great for users with small screens
- Support: you can submit feedback or a support request directly from the app
Look after your locations!
Locations stored in the old desktop version can be exported and saved as a KML file, and then imported into the new web app. We’d encourage you to do this now ahead of the September 2nd deadline.
Once imported, the web app saves locations in your browser’s local storage. In order to ensure you don’t inadvertently lose your locations, we advise exporting and saving the KML files as backups. Look after your saved locations the way you look after your photos.
It’s time to switch
Say goodbye to the old TPE desktop app, it’s time to switch (caption)
Just like the original TPE for Desktop, the new desktop web app remains free to use.
You can send feedback to TPE at any time using the support tab in the web app. TPE is used by so many professional and amateur photographers around the world, and this is a great opportunity for you to help shape this useful tool.
We’re adding updated tutorials to the TPE website in the weeks leading up to September 2nd. There is also a Quick Start Guide you can download directly from the web app page. It outlines the major functionality along with a list of useful keyboard shortcuts.
Go ahead and try it out today!
Here’s a few dPS articles that mention TPE so you can try it out:
- It’s all about the light: The Photographer’s Ephemeris
- Finding New Photography Locations Just Got Easier With ShotHotspot
- 8 Simple Guidelines for Capturing Spectacular Sunrise and Sunset Images
- 5 Hot Tips For Improving Your Summer Photography