Astroanimation and Google Earth

A version of Google Earth has been released today which allows sunlight affecting views in Google Earth to be adjusted according to time of day, point of view, and season. Sunlight can actually be animated through time, for a period as short as a few minutes to as long as an entire year…from a moving viewpoint, too. Combined with architectural objects created in Google Sketch-up this is beyond exciting!! –Get this…you can design objects (buildings and sculptures) which cast shadows and otherwise interact with solar objects to create an animation!! Using the sun! The moon, clouds, landscapes, valleys, gigantic redwood forests, celestial events — eclipses, lunar and solar — constellations…the entire universe could be your living palette.
Think Stonehenge, Chichen Itza, or the Pyramids — only on an immense unbelievably detailed, complex scale. Entire cities — from nature reserves to sky scrapers to theme parks to residential houses — could be constructed in orientation to the sun and moon, sunsets and their shadows, surrounding landscapes, etc. All for a living, dynamic, co-ordinated changing visual animation, potentially occurring across hundreds of miles…lasting decades, centuries, millennia.
For instance, imagine if a planned community such as the Palm Island Resorts in Dubai were constructed to produce a living, constantly changing, narrative animation of cast shadows, reflected (sun, moon, and star) light, 24 hours a day 7 days a week for years — even taking into account within the narrative solar and lunar eclipses visible from the region centuries from now.
Structures within an Astro Theatre could be made to move in the wind, contract with temperature, open and close at night, focus and reflect from multiple mirrors, water fountains, stained glass canopies, canyon walls, lake surfaces, ocean fronts, and so on. The entire place could be a visual manifestation of our living universe. –All previewed in Google, constructed in Maya, and experienced online. High-school teams can create these theaters. What a cool way to teach astronomy…and animation, nature conservation, architecture, and so on — not to mention narrative storytelling. Unbelievably exciting. I hope I live long enough to create one of these. In the Grand Canyon, using natural structures….
[On a less ambitious scale Google Earth will permit previz of individual buildings so sunlight can be maximized — for example, in nursing homes for health reasons or in outdoor theaters so actual sunsets can be viewed within seasonal set designs, etc.]

Update: A Sundial that Shows Solstice “Explanation: What time is it? If the time and day are right, this sundial will tell you: SOLSTICE. Only then will the Sun be located just right for sunlight to stream through openings and spell out the term for the longest and shortest days of the year. And that happened last week and twice each year. The sundial was constructed by Jean Salins in 1980 and is situated at the Ecole Supérieure des Mines de Paris in Valbonne Sophia Antipolis of south-eastern France. On two other days of the year, watchers of this sundial might get to see it produce another word: EQUINOXE.” Image Credit & Copyright: Jean-Marc Mari