Saturday, November 19, 2022

found the Mars globe mappers!


Finally found it.

When Chris B shared with me his last Mars sketch on 25 October, I wanted to identify the albedo features that he had drawn.

And immediately I thought of the Mars globe simulator tool I had used back in October 2020. Ade Ashford's cool Mars tool—my favourite aspect of it was that it showed the Red Planet as a three-dimensional globe; I preferred this to the S&T mag rectangular map. 

In fact, I recalled downloading the assets and hacking a version locally that looked a bit better. 

I tried to find this and I couldn't. 

Tried several searches on my computers, to no avail.

I thought for sure it was on John Max... Ran searches on drive E and drive H. Didn't see the files.

Fired up John Repeat Dance. Did I move it over to the netbook, which I used a lot for astronomy? The old battery was dying so I had to tether it to an extension cord. Had a good look around. Nothing. 

Certainly not on John Grim. It's too new.

Looked in the astronomy USB key, the little Maxwell drive. Nope.


Too many computers...

Manually scanned the directories in E and H on the AMD tower. Carefully examined drive D on the ASUS netbook. Came up empty...

Where could it have gone? 

Dale's talk during the RASC London meeting Friday night got me thinking about it yet again.

So I tried one more time. Tonight I ran a search on John Max but at the "my PC" level, all the drives, C:, D:, E: (which I used a lot in the past for astronomy content), and H: (the newer drive with astro files). Using the keyword "profiler." Maybe I had misfiled it.

Still nothing.

Redid the search with the keyword "mars" but only saw a handful of hits. Well, that ain't right. I have lots of files related to Mars! Should have been more results. Why, why so few results, I wondered...

Oooh. Some search criteria was interfering. I checked the advanced options and File Exploder was searching for the text within the files. OK. Cleared that option.

Ran the search again. 

Ah ha. Immediately, lots of results starting showing. I flipped the view to Details and sorted on the Folder column and then left it alone.

Came back a few minutes later and started scanning...

When I spotted hits referring to the "Ade's Mars Mapper" in the H drive. That's it. I recognised that name!


(How did I miss this before?!)

Jumped into the folder and spotted the downloaded assets and my hacked HTML files.


Whooped out loud.

Been weeks looking for this damned thing.

Opened the original file in Chrome. Yep. Mars as a globe. Had to roll the year back to 2020 to meet the constraints. The advancing and rewinding buttons then worked.

Opened my custom HTML file. Cleaner look, a few bug fixes.

As good as all this was, the planet tilt was wrong. The circumstances facts were wrong. Would need to be updated for 2022...

Scrolled down. I had kept the author's original remarks but added a colophon with notes on my changes. 

And, happily, I had a hyperlink to the author's web site.

Clicked it...

And would you look at that!?!?

Ade's mapper for the Mars 2022 opposition

He's updated it. Ade Ashford has updated his Mars Mapper for the 2022 opposition.

So happy.

Immediately, I sent this to Chris B!


Chris was happy.


Early November, on or before the 3rd, I had rolled back the clock in the blog:

Found my long comparison piece from October 2020 (after the last Mars apparition) where I looked at a bunch of different software tools and apps and web resources, evaluating how they presented the Fourth Rock from the Sun and helped identify its albedo features.

I had also found my old blog post on the 3D Mars mapping web app. At the time, again first week of November, I re-encountered this. In Evernote, I wrote, "won't work for this time period."

Had I tried this before? Couldn't clearly remember. Oldmanitis. But I must have, if I wrote that note. I must have visited Ade's web site around 3 Nov but gave up as it wouldn't tolerate 2022 dates. Blocked it out?

Also in Evernote, I saw that I had revisited the tool provided by Sky & Telescope. Which did work for the current apparition. I just don't like the projection. Way too much distortion at the poles.


One nit to pick is that Ade's new version does not allow the suppression of the labels. I liked that option...


Ooooh. I don't recall seeing this before... Ade's also made a web app for the moons of Mars! Yes! The little moons are on the bucket list.

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