Tag Archive: “gtg”


My Twitter bot @WheresThatSat is up and running. More information about what it does is available at WheresThatSat.com. In short, it replies to comments about satellites with maps and information about the satellite’s recent course.

Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012.

WheresThatSat Preview

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m making a bot called WheresThatSat¬†which is basically a Twitter interface to Ground Track Generator, my satellite-path-mapping program. The bot responds to queries about satellites (it knows of many – you might even say it has detailed files) by reporting their location at the time they were mentioned.

This week I’ve been making a complementary web site that displays more information (altitude, speed, heading, etc.) along with a Google Map rendition of the satellite’s recent path. The bot will include a map link with each response. The site isn’t finished yet (some icons and styles are still placeholders), but here’s sneak peak:

My goal is to get things working smoothly enough to let WheresThatSat resume running later this week, at least on a trial basis. Although the bot could search for and reply to any mention of the many satellites it knows about, I’ve decided it will only post unsolicited responses to a sample of tweets about one or two “in the news” satellites (queries explicitly addressed to @WheresThatSat will, of course, have access to a full catalog of satellites). This is partly a matter of manners and partly a matter of avoiding excessive API calls (Twitter imposes rate limits on how frequently programs can interact with it).

Posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012.

Exploring Orbits

A ground track comparison of Sun-synchronous satellites in low Earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites in high Earth orbit.

Posted on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012.

Making Ground Track Generator

I wrote a little program to make shapefiles (GIS map layers) of satellite ground tracks. Here’s the story of its development, recounted from my comments on Twitter (the internet’s water cooler).

Posted on Saturday, March 31st, 2012.