A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Brad Morris
Date: 2016 Sep 16, 14:56 -0400
While what you ask for is indeed possible, what will be lacking is resolution.
If you attempt a fix using the accelerometers to obtain inclination, and/or the compass to determine azimuth, the fix will be junk. The instrumentation on board the smart phone really isn't good enough.
Identifying Polaris and simultaneously the horizon, using the smart phone camera, will prove very challenging. Polaris is fairly faint, so the gain will have to be tweaked up, whilst the fairly murky horizon will be a smeared smudge.
Is it possible? Yes! Will the fix be sufficient? Depends on what you want out of it
Another thought.(don't get so many these days!)
Take the smart phone picture at twilight, (need that anyway for sextant polaris Alt) .Could the software estimate Alt from the photograph pixels between polaris and horizon? In theory, if so, one picture including horizon, Polaris, Alkaid(,or e cas,) Kochab, would let the software (knowing GMT) work out lat and long, or am I dreaming here?
Get your thinking caps on app experts!