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    Re: On the integration of location and data
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2009 Nov 3, 10:14 -0500

    The SkyScout is a terrific product which was never intended to absolutely define the precise
    object you have "centered" in your viewfinder.
    
    Firstly, it is a hand held device.  The stability of your hand can be substituted for by a really
    nice equatorial mount, but that might be just a bit of overkill.  The issue with it being hand
    held is that the stability of your pointing is going to vary, even if you could precisely center the
    object in the viewfinder.  The smart phone app will have the same limitation.
    
    Secondly, the viewfinder has zero magnification.  It is essentially a sighting tube with two
    internally mounted rings which define the centering.  Thus the centering is subjective, based
    upon you aligning the rings and holding the device steady, all while pressing the button.
    The smart phone app will have the same limitation.
    
    Thirdly (and in my mind importantly), the SkyScout gives you a LIST of objects that should
    have been in the viewfinder, given your position, azimuth and elevation.  It is up to you to
    determine which one is correct.  The smart phone app will most like have this as well, as
    it will be nearly impossible to ever state just the one.
    
    In all of my testing with the device, I have found that it properly identifies the object I am
    pointing the SkyScout at.  As a lark, I asked it to identify that rather large object known as
    the moon.  It did, but also gave a list of other objects it might possible be.  It isn't
    a mind reading device which can realize that I was thinking of only that large object.
    
    It also works in an inverse sense.  I ask it to find a celestial object and it does so.
    
    To Frank's point, if we are trying to engender an interest in celestial navigation, then the list
    of 57 navigational stars are clearly separable and identify-able by the SkyScout.  If the navigable
    planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) are included, there may be times when the SkyScout
    has more than one of our navigable objects present in the viewfinder and perhaps not separable.
    For an in-experienced navigator, that may prove challenging.  For others, the separation will come
    in the reduction of the observation to a LOP.
    
    Yes there are "defects" with the device.  It is sensitive to magnetic fields.  The pointing accuracy
    is not finely resolved.  It is dependent upon GPS (gasp) to determine your location on the planet.
    Based upon recent traffic on the NavList, that is apparently a major defect :-))  It also uses electrons,
    which some are apparently opposed to, due to the inherent inability of any electronic device
    to survive in their care.
    
    It is, however, a terrific product.  It does what I want it to do.  I recommend it.
    
    Best Regards
    Brad
    
    
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