Grenoble, France – Starmap today is pleased to announce Starmap Media 1.1 free for iOS, the newest member of its suite of best-selling astronomy apps. Designed as a stand-alone app or an embedded module for use with its paid apps, Starmap Media consists of 29 multimedia stories about the stars plus a tutorial, all professionally written by Carolyn Collins Petersen, well-known for her fulldome astronomy videos, books, and exhibit work. About 15 minutes each, the videos feature scientifically accurate graphics and animation, localized starmaps, and inspiring narration. Creation of the app was personally supervised by astronomer Frederic Descamps, PhD, CEO of Starmap, who is executive producer for the stories. Other Starmap apps for iOS include Starmap HD, Starmap Pro, Starmap, and Starmap Lite. Recognized by many as one the premiere educational astronomy apps for iOS, Starmap HD earned a prestigious 2012 Astronomy Star Products Award from Astronomy magazine.

Feature Highlights:
* Multimedia stories about the stars, complete with dramatic images, graphics, and narration
* Professionally created by experienced astronomers, artists, writers, and multimedia producers
* Series Writer, Carolyn Collins Petersen of Loch Ness Productions, also creates fulldome planetarium shows and is an award-winning science writer and producer
* Starmap CEO, Dr. Frederic Descamps, is a professional astronomer and creator of the Starmap suite of apps
* Astronomy lessons and stories told with the aid of Starmap’s library of star charts and object lists

Current versions of Starmap contain rich treasuries of celestial objects and satellites, a night viewing mode, observing lists, logbook capability, and many other features that make it a powerful observation tool for stargazers at all levels. “But I wanted the apps to do even more. I wanted it to have a storytelling element,” said Dr. Descamps. “I wanted to create special illustrated and narrated stories to help teach users how to find star objects and learn more about them.”

So, he set to work on a special version called Starmap Media, which expands the apps’ versatility as a next-generation teaching tool. It coordinates Starmap’s star charts and object lists with images and narration to tell fascinating stories about the night sky. “It turns the sky and its objects into the main actors,” he commented. “They become the focus of an approachable astronomy lesson for everyone to enjoy.”

While stargazing, users simply hold their iDevice up to the sky as one of the multimedia stories is playing. Starmap Media will automatically guide users to the area of the sky being described in the story. It will wait for users to spot the location and touch a target icon to continue the story. If a story is describing the Orion Nebula, for example, Starmap will automatically move to that region of the sky, and then the Orion Nebula becomes the main actor in the story. In addition to Sky Mode, the app also works in Couch Mode, for those times when the skies are cloudy or users want to stay indoors and learn more about star legends and the history and science of astronomy. Users of the regular Starmap apps also have access to Starmap Media as an embedded module, accessible through a feature called Media in the bottom menu bar of their apps.

The Starmap Media team has created more than seven hours of storytelling, covering a year’s worth of stargazing for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere. Stories are labeled with a level of difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced), and present historic tales, star searches, and modern astrophysics for everyone. “Starmap, with its ability to tell stories and teach astronomy in an entertaining and thoughtful way, has a definite place in everyone’s app library,” said Ms. Petersen. “I can easily see teachers using it in the classroom to bring the universe alive for their students, or youth group leaders sharing with their members. It would also be a great thing to enjoy during star parties, no matter what level of astronomer you are. The stories are designed to appeal to a wide audience, and the fact that you can watch them on your iPad or iPhone make them personal and instantly available.”

“There’s something for everyone in Starmap Media and its stories, whether you are just getting started or have years of experience stargazing with a home or professional telescope,” said Dr. Descamps. “Download the app of your choice today and get started on your journey through the universe!”

Language Support:
* English and French

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* Universal app optimized for display on all iOS devices
* 38.0 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Starmap Media 1.1 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category. A full library of multimedia stories is available, with some free and the remaining stories sold individually as an in-app purchase. All stories may be viewed on the Starmap Media app or any of the other four Starmap apps.

Starmap Media 1.1
Library of Stories
Download from iTunes
Suite of Starmap Apps
Vimeo Video
Media Assets

Based in Grenoble, France, Starmap was founded by Frederic Descamps in 2008. Starmap is the first handheld, interactive, planetarium mobile-application that lets you discover the night sky with realistic maps and detailed factual information. Starmap has been featured many times on the App Store since its first version. Frederic Descamps is a professional astronomer and has been practicing in the field since his youth. He holds a PhD in electronics/physics engineering, with a thesis on the electronics of particle detectors, including those at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and DESY in Hamburg, Germany. Descamps started the Starmap mobile application as a hobby, which has now turned into a business. Copyright (C) 2013 Starmap. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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