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Master Observing Log or Database

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#1 whizbang

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 09:42 AM

I have been using SkySafari 6 Plus for about a year now and have 45 sessions recorded.

 

Is there an easy way to see or sort my observations in one main, master list (database, log)?

 

 



#2 sg6

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 10:31 AM

This question or very goes round and round. Really seems to be difficult.

I suppose a data base is the half obvious one, at least observations can be retrieved by Object, Date, Type. Which are likely the main ones. Also if you observe NArs (say) this year it is easy to insert a field for observing in 2 years time.

 

One general problem is people would like to do it in one go and likely at the time of the viewing. This seems to be a problem. When viewing people want to view, not really take detailed notes and even less enter detailed information into a database.

 

Half thought of a small dictaphone, but will agree that it then takes effort to get home/inside.

 

Unsure of the possibility but a speach to text app would seem an idea, if the text could in effect be entered into fields of a defined page. That way you talk your experience to a phone or tablet app and end with say an A4/letter page record of one observation.

 

Another aspect is that digital infprmation is easily "lost". New PC and the old hardrive goes, accidents happen, file corruptions. In a way an old fashioned good hardback log book is likely to outlast many things.

 

However the problem I still see is taking notes and information at night over say 10 observed items then writing them up some time afterwards.

 

Is there an idiots guide to writing an app?

Just about all the Idiots Guides and Beginners Guides I have ever read seem to be aimed at final year degree, or postgrad status.



#3 spereira

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 10:32 AM

Moving to Astro Software & Computers.

 

smp



#4 lphilpot

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 10:52 AM

Is there an idiots guide to writing an app?

Just about all the Idiots Guides and Beginners Guides I have ever read seem to be aimed at final year degree, or postgrad status.

The inherent issue is that programming is not simple, per se. Not that it's un-learnable, obviously, nor necessarily fiendishly difficult (although it can be). It just takes effort,  time and a structured / orderly way of thinking, some of which doesn't fit easily into the idiots / dummies paradigm (despite what authors and publishers wish). Learning to program and learning a language aren't the same thing, either. Once you fundamentally learn how to program, you apply it via the language. By metaphor, learning to read and write German doesn't make you a German author. :) The language is a tool. Even at best, programming is like building a house from toothpicks. I'm not a professional programmer (and have done only some hobby level coding) but personally I find it fascinating. Not everyone does.

 

Anyway, that's all somewhat tangential to the original question, I know. I've not used SkySafari's logging functionality, but I imported and then entered quite a few (800+) observations into SkyTools a few years ago. I used a small Canon digital recorder to take notes at the eyepiece, then typed them up the next day (usually). For me, the big thing was to get them typed in and not accumulate a backlog. Once that happened, it was much more difficult and tedious to plow through all my voice notes.


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#5 brentknight

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 10:30 PM

I have been using SkySafari 6 Plus for about a year now and have 45 sessions recorded.

 

Is there an easy way to see or sort my observations in one main, master list (database, log)?

Consider migrating your observations to a true logging application such as SkyTools. A bit pricy no doubt, but a very useful program...



#6 lphilpot

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 10:43 AM

Skytools 4 is a powerful program with many capabilities, including logging. But I'm not aware (unless I've overlooked it) of a built-in way to import existing third-party / external log data. If I recall, Greg had to manually import my Herschel 400 logs into SkyTools 3 years ago. Dunno if that's still available...?


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#7 brentknight

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 03:37 PM

I imported initially from 10 years of paper logs the very old fashioned way.

 

With observing apps like SkySafari, I've been able to use LiveSky to copy/paste my observations into SkyTools.  It's still a manual process, but SkyTools is designed as a logging program and makes the process fairly easy - if a little time consuming at first.  Once your backlog of observations are imported, it's easy just to copy your session notes from LiveSky to SkyTools.  I actually enjoy this process as it allows me to do a little additional research on the objects I viewed while copying them over.  The benefits from having your notes in SkyTools is worth the effort in my opinion, but you may not enjoy that process as much as I do...

 

I just upgraded to SkyTools 4 and the observational features look improved enough that I've considered ditching SkySafari and just using SkyTools.  The only thing keeping me from doing this now is that I really don't like the idea of using a bright laptop in the field and I'm not quite ready to invest in a high end Windows tablet.


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#8 obrazell

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 02:40 AM

Theoretically the logs can be exported form SkySafari in the OAL format and then imported into say Deep-Sky Planner or one of the other programs (Observation Manager) that supports that format.

 

Owen



#9 StarryNightGuy

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 08:32 AM

I have been using SkySafari 6 Plus for about a year now and have 45 sessions recorded.

 

Is there an easy way to see or sort my observations in one main, master list (database, log)?

Hey WhizBang,

 

There are a few options, but perhaps none that solve all your problems (more on that later.)

 

The most obvious way (which I'm sure you tried) is to tap Observe > Observations > All Observations. They'll all be in that on main master list, but no sorting here, unfortunately.

 

Alternatively, have you tried our (free) interface on LiveSky.com? Admittedly, it could use some work, but it was meant as an alternative to scrolling through long lists of data on a little screen like a phone.

 

You can also try SkySafari on a mac (if you just want a bigger screen), but it's a separate purchase and likely doesn't do what you want.

 

So... tell us what you want! We're work on SkySafari version 7, and this is your chance to influence what goes into it. We've had a number of people ask for better Observations "management" so this is likely part of that. What else?

 

- Dave



#10 Kyphoron

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 12:49 AM

 

I just upgraded to SkyTools 4 and the observational features look improved enough that I've considered ditching SkySafari and just using SkyTools.  The only thing keeping me from doing this now is that I really don't like the idea of using a bright laptop in the field and I'm not quite ready to invest in a high end Windows tablet.

 

Brent,

 

  I run Skytools 4 on a 50.00 Toshiba tablet I bought on ebay. You don't need a high end tablet for this. Just one with an expandable memory slot.  I have a 128 gig mirco SD card with Skytools 4 loaded on the card and not the tablet and it runs smoothly with no hang-ups at all.


Edited by Kyphoron, 08 July 2020 - 12:51 AM.


#11 Thomas Pfleger

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 08:40 AM

Theoretically the logs can be exported form SkySafari in the OAL format and then imported into say Deep-Sky Planner or one of the other programs (Observation Manager) that supports that format.

 

Owen

The OAL (Open Astronomy Log) data format was jointly developed by the makers of Deep Sky Planner, Observation Manager, deepskylog.org and Eye&Telescope.

 

While hardly mentioned here, Eye&Telescope is a fully feature charting, logging and planning software. You can attach files to log entries, search the log database, import and export using OAL, share observations or observing projects with friends and much more. There is a powerful custom horizon feature, allowing for planning observations in an obstructed environment (trees, buildings). Star charts show only what you are able to see with your scope and your actual SQM sky brightness value. E&T supports ASCOM, of course. I like to have the notebook always come up with a chart around the scope's position, not cluttered with tons of objects unlikely to ever be seen. E&T has a comprehensive help system, showing how to get the most out of it.

 

While I'm not willing to explicitly compare my own product to other players in the field, I'd really like someone else to do just this. I know my baby's shortcomings, but I can only wonder why most of you use planning software that is "a bit slow" in many functions.

 

Checking it out comes at no cost. It's free to try and free to keep ;-)


Edited by Thomas Pfleger, 24 July 2020 - 08:41 AM.

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