Part 6: Moving from legacy TPE for Desktop to the Web App

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Google switched off its Google Maps for Flash API on 2 September 2014. On that date the old TPE for desktop version ceased to function.

In 2009 we built the first TPE for desktop on a third party application called Adobe AIR. This provided a convenient cross-platform technology that allowed users on Windows, Mac and Linux to run the same application.

Adobe AIR uses Flash technology and, since then, the popularity of Flash has declined significantly. It served TPE for desktop well but, as the Google deadline approached, we knew it was time for a change.

Happily, we developed the new TPE web app. This new version of TPE for desktop was released on 2 July 2014.

The web app is browser-based and runs in a variety of modern browsers. It was 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.

To start using the new TPE web app, open your chosen browser and go to: app.photoephemeris.com

That’s it! Nothing to download, nothing to install.

TPE Web App Tutorial Image 1
The new TPE browser based web app is now up and running

Export your locations from the old desktop app

If you have been using TPE for a while, no doubt you have a long list of saved locations. You can easily import these into the new web app. After 2 September 2014 the maps no longer function in the old desktop version, but you are still able to transfer your locations to the new web app.

To Export your saved locations from the old Desktop version:

- Open the old TPE for Desktop application
- Click on “Locations” to open your locations page
- To transfer your entire locations list, click on the name of the location at the top of your list, scroll down the list, hold down “Shift” and click on the location name at the bottom of your list. The whole list highlights blue
- Click the “Export” button at the bottom of the page
- Save the file somewhere you know you can retrieve it (IMPORTANT!)

TPE Web App Tutorial Image 2

  1. In the old desktop app, click on the name of the top location
  2. Scroll down, hold shift, then click on the name of the bottom location, the selected locations are highlighted blue
  3. Export the selected locations to a KML file

To import your locations into the new TPE Web app:

- Open the TPE web app in your browser: app.photoephemeris.com
- Go to the Locations page by clicking on “Locations” at the top
- Click the “Import” button
- Choose the file you saved previously and click “yes”

TPE Web App Tutorial Image 3

  1. Click the Import button to import your locations to the new TPE web app

A couple of important things to note…

1) These imported locations do not display Elevation and Timezone

The export from the old TPE for Desktop does not include this information.

However, that’s not a problem, as the web app will dynamically look it up for you when you set the red pin position using a saved location.

Optionally, you can update your saved location with the correct elevation/time zone by re-bookmarking it after selecting it – you’ll be asked whether you want to update the existing location or create a new one. (Typically, you will just want to update the existing one.)

2) Managing locations

Once imported, the web app saves locations in your browser’s local storage. Going forward, it is important to keep this in mind when organizing your locations.

Here are some ideas to help you look after your TPE web app locations:

  • You should assume that clearing cookies from your browser will delete your saved locations. For some browsers this may not be the case, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Set up a naming convention for your locations e.g. “continent, country, province, location name”. This makes them easier to find again.
  • Get into the habit of exporting your locations and saving the KML files as backups. Do this regularly – look after your locations the way you look after your photos.

Visit our website to find a tutorial about managing locations along with other tutorials about the TPE web app: photoephemeris.com/tutorials

If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, you might also enjoy “Understanding Light with The Photographer’s Ephemeris” co-authored with renowned landscape photographer Bruce Percy. It’s available through Bruce’s web-site.