Some significant news for users of TPE for Desktop: two months from now, on 2 September 2014, TPE for Desktop will be no more.
On that date Google will turn off the Google Maps for Flash API, upon which TPE for Desktop depends. Once that happens, the app will no longer function.
Of course, we’ve known about this for a while, and have been working on a new version so that TPE will live on uninterrupted!
It seemed the perfect opportunity to give the old app an overhaul and to add a couple of nice features.
The new TPE web app
The Photographer's Ephemeris: new web app for desktop users
The new version is a web app and you’ll need a modern web browser to run it. We’ve tested it in the current versions of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, and in Internet Explorer 11. As with the old version, it is designed to be used on desktop computers equipped with a mouse.
We’re releasing the new app as a public beta as of today, and you can access it here:
One great advantage of the web app is that there is no need to install additional software, such as Adobe AIR. This means you will not have to install updates any more. When we release updates to the web app you will get them automatically the next time you visit the site.
Take a deep breath. Let’s jump in…
The new web app includes the same functionality as the old desktop version and has a number of enhancements we hope you’ll like.
The first thing you will notice is that it looks a little different. The celestial events for the day are displayed in the Events Timeline below the map. A chart of the sun and moon’s journey throughout the day is displayed at the bottom of the screen (it can be toggled on and off to increase map “real estate”).
New features include the ability to share links. You can look up a location, set the date and time, and then share the URL of the web page with a friend.
Saved locations can now be used to set the grey pin position as well as the red pin – great for planning both camera and subject placement.
And a new twist: the “+6° shadow circle”. Holding down the shift key (or pressing caps lock) displays sun and moon shadow lines. If the shadow extends outside the circle, then the sun or moon lies below +6° above the horizon: this is the best time for good light (golden hour) or for positioning the moon against the landscape (e.g. the moon illusion).
As an added benefit there is now a support tab built into the app, should you need to contact us.
We will be working on updating the tutorials on the website and other information over the coming weeks.
The very best news of all is that the new TPE for desktop web app will remain free.
Look after your locations!
Well before 2 September 2014, we strongly recommend that you export your saved locations from the old desktop program and import them into the new web app.
Once imported, the web app saves your locations in your browser’s local storage. In order to ensure you don’t inadvertently lose your locations, we advise exporting them regularly and saving the KML files as backups.
We’d like to hear your feedback
We’d like you to try it out and let us know what you think via the Support link on the right hand side of the page.
There are a few changes to the user interface, but you should find the majority of what you see familiar to operate. Most of the keyboard shortcuts from the old app have been carried over unchanged, plus there are some new ones added (e.g. ‘B’ to bookmark a location, ‘G’ to toggle geodetics on/off).
So, jump in, try it out and let us know how you go. We hope you like it!