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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3167435, 13 pages
Research Article

Development of a Motion Sensing and Automatic Positioning Universal Planisphere Using Augmented Reality Technology

Graduate Institute of e-Learning Technology, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Wernhuar Tarng

Received 3 June 2016; Revised 9 December 2016; Accepted 26 December 2016; Published 14 February 2017

Academic Editor: Stefania Sardellitti

Copyright © 2017 Wernhuar Tarng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study combines the augmented reality technology and the sensor functions of GPS, electronic compass, and 3-axis accelerometer on mobile devices to develop a motion sensing and automatic positioning universal planisphere. It can create local star charts according to the current date, time, and position and help users locate constellations on the planisphere easily through motion sensing operation. By holding the mobile device towards the target constellation in the sky, the azimuth and elevation angles are obtained automatically for mapping to its correct position on the star chart. The proposed system combines observational activities with physical operation and spatial cognition for developing correct astronomical concepts, thus making learning more effective. It contains a built-in 3D virtual starry sky to enable observation in classroom for supporting teaching applications. The learning process can be shortened by setting varying observation date, time, and latitude. Therefore, it is a useful tool for astronomy education.