Launch Slideshow

Sun Seeker app

Sun Seeker app

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    Courtesy Deane Madsen

    Compass view, showing solar path.

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    Courtesy Deane Madsen

    Sun path details.

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    Courtesy Deane Madsen

    An overlay of solar path data on Google satellite image of ARCHITECT offices.

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    Courtesy Deane Madsen

    View of the Donovan House from 1 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, with solar path overlays: current day (yellow) and winter solstice (cyan).

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    Courtesy Deane Madsen

    View of Thomas Circle from ARCHITECT offices with solar path overlays: summer solstice (red), current day (yellow), and winter solstice (cyan).

Though not aimed specifically at architects, the Sun Seeker app, developed by the Australian app company ozPDA, offers valuable solar information that makes site visits all the more meaningful. The app’s main function is to show sun paths in an overhead view, with sunrise and sunset times, as well as solar angles listed in a detail view. The feature architects will find most valuable is Sun Seeker’s overlays of the current day’s solar path, with the solstice sun paths, merged with live views from their smartphone or tablet’s built-in camera and compass to show augmented 3D views. This can be particularly handy for architects who want to visualize where louvers might be necessary to block harsh low-angle sunlight in the summer months, and where to seek optimal solar gain in winter, without having to run back to the office to start up Ecotect. The next time you find yourself wondering if you’ll need to spec window shades, seek out this app instead. • $5.99–$8.99; ozpda.com

For a demonstration of how the app looks on a smartphone, see the video below: