Is there a night sky mapping app for windows phone? I am in northern NJ and every morning, 5 - 6:30 AM, I see a very bright object in the sky a bit south of east. It has to be Venus. Many mornings it is the only light visible in the sky. How would a mapping app work? Can the phone tell an app what direction the camera is pointed at? How much of an angle it is off of perpendicular to the ground?
The accelerometer knows where the ground is because gravity is pulling on it, so it would tell you the angle the phone is at. The compass would know what direction you're looking in. Add in GPS data and you should know enough... I think.
There's bound to be stuff like this available somewhere (no idea if there is any for WP7), but it would seem like an interesting excercise to build nonetheless.
Is all the imagery and whatnot that Worldwide Telescope uses available via some service? That'd be an interesting application.
I have an app like that on my iPhone, it's called SkySafari, and I can confirm Venus should be visible to the south-east in that location at that time.
This app does use GPS to give you the sky at your current time and location. Although it also uses the compass to track the direction your holding it in, this isn't really accurate because the compass doesn't work that well when you're holding the phone up, and if you're holding the phone flat all you can see on the app is the stars below you (on the other side of the planet). So I usually turn that off, it's not that hard to compare the app's map with what you're seeing and orient yourself that way.