DishPointer.com goes live! Well, actually it should read “went live” because the launch happened over two weeks ago but just now I implemented this blog into the site to write these few lines. It all started with my UKSatelliteHelp blog where I’m writing about satellite tv in the UK, how to install a dish, setup the receiver etc. mainly to obtain Sky UK. There was always a satellite alignment calculator which would produce convert a given UK postcode to latitude and longitude, and then display the azimuth, elevation and LNB skew for the satellite from which Sky UK is broadcast. But with all these data, the user still had to use a compass to find the right direction and that’s after correcting the azimuth for magnetic variations (because of the geomagnetic fields – which vary with time and location – on the earth surface, a compass usually doesn’t point to true north). So that’s where I thought wouldn’t it be actually cool to see on a map where to point the dish? Bingo, there was Google Maps. Not only that it has maps for almost every corner on this planet but also close-up satellite images with incredible details (at least for the major cities). So, I went ahead and converted my normal alignment calculator into a Google Mashup and tested the accuracy of the tool on my own dish – and that was amazing. I could position the dish marker on the map and it would tell me to point at the chimney on the house opposite and it was right! That’s where my dish is actually pointing at. After putting the tool on my blog, the feedback I’ve received was amazing. People from not only the UK but all around the world started using the tool and that’s where I decided to put the tool on a separate domain – that’s how dishpointer.com was born. This way, I think I can work better on the tool and it shows more the global character of the site. I already have new features in the pipe-line and also plans to convert the site into many languages. The only thing missing is … time! But I shall manage, hopefully.