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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2018, Article ID 5950732, 10 pages
Research Article

A Sun Path Observation System Based on Augment Reality and Mobile Learning

1Institute of Learning Sciences and Technologies, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
2Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Kuo-Liang Ou; wt.ude.uhtn.dn.liam@uolk

Received 19 October 2017; Revised 26 January 2018; Accepted 8 February 2018; Published 29 March 2018

Academic Editor: Jesus Fontecha

Copyright © 2018 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 uses the augmented reality technology and sensor functions of GPS, electronic compass, and three-axis accelerometer on mobile devices to develop a Sun path observation system for applications in astronomy education. The orientation and elevation of the Sun can be calculated by the system according to the user’s location and local time to simulate the Sun path. When holding the mobile device toward the sky, the screen will show the virtual Sun at the same position as that of the real Sun. The user can record the Sun path and the data of observation date, time, longitude, and latitude using the celestial hemisphere and the pole shadow on the system. By setting different observation times and locations, it can be seen that the Sun path changes with seasons and latitudes. The system provides contextual awareness of the Sun path concepts, and it can convert the observation data into organized and meaningful astronomical knowledge to enable combination of situated learning with spatial cognition. The system can solve the problem of being not able to record the Sun path due to a bad weather or topographical restrictions, and therefore it is helpful for elementary students when conducting observations. A teaching experiment has been conducted to analyze the learning achievement of students after using the system, and the results show that it is more effective than traditional teaching aids. The questionnaire results also reveal that the system is easy to operate and useful in recording the Sun path data. Therefore, it is an effective tool for astronomy education in elementary schools.