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The future of Geochron
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Armed with face masks

...and anxious to work on the clock restorations that were waiting for us, we re-opened our mechanical shop in late-April.  If you were waiting, send them in!

Work never stopped on Geochron Atlas, and we’re grateful for the many orders that were prepared from my dining room.  My daughter and wife have been busy with remote school work and loading Atlases, but the “quiet mess” of the pandemic pervades everything around here. 

The passing of a (very old) family member has brought my son home from the USAF for a week, and he’ll have to self-quarantine for two weeks when he returns to base!  There will be no funeral to go to sadly, because of COVID.

If you’ve ever tried to get a grandfather clock repaired, you’ll know that clock repair shops are in very short supply all over the world.  It’s simply because the world is changing, and those horologists are retiring.   Starting around 2000, Geochron got smaller too: from a two-story building in San Francisco, to – after many moves – our final location outside Portland, Oregon.  The clock, in all its mechanical beauty, endures for our enthusiastic owners even in a new digital world.  Take a quick video walk through below.

We get a lot of questions about our Geochron Digital.  No one but us, to my knowledge, is doing this in a dedicated 4K digital display.  The idea obviously came from our mechanical clock, but where is Geochron Atlas going in the future?  See below.

Talk to you soon,
 
Patrick
Owner
800-342-1661


I read all the replies, and reply to the nice ones!
Take a walk through our mechanical shop in 40 seconds.

What's coming up for Geochron Atlas?


On my smart phone you’ll find a handful of apps that are inspiration for what I want on the Geochron Atlas: doppler radar, flight tracking (enjoy that), radio propagation…  Some apps are ad-supported like IBM's Wunderground, or raise revenue with premium subscriptions like FlowX on Android

Over the last two years, Geochron Digital has followed a similar path: visually aggregating data from public databases over our specialty maps.


 

Solving the Hardware problem


For apps, the hardware is provided: it’s your phone.  But if you want a detailed rendering of the entire Earth in one glorious look, a smart phone is not powerful enough and the screen is too small.  To render a moving map in 4K on a large screen, you’ll need some computing horsepower.

Enter Geochron Atlas: basically a laptop in a tiny form factor with more power than asmart phone, and specifically designed for 4K digital displays. 

It’s not the first time Geochron has tried this.  A Windows 98 program called World Watch was functional for its time.  It wasn’t until 4K resolution displays became commonplace that we could adequately represent our mechanical clock, in digital form.  I’ll never forget when one of the founders of Geochron came for a visit, spotted a digital prototype and exclaimed, “Oh my god, Patrick!  You did it!” 


Building for More Layers

 

Like those engaging smart phone apps, there is seemingly no end to the informational layers we could add to our 4K display.  I keep a list of the hundreds of suggestions we receive on a daily basis that fall into three categories: Natural Events, Weather, and Amateur Radio.

Last year we began the programming that would let us quickly add more layers.  The data to create these layers is sometimes free (COVID), but usually not (Live Lightning with worldwide coverage). Since we can’t have banner ads running across the bottom of the Atlas, we’ll pass that on to the user as a premium layer.

Thank you for the many suggestions… I think you’ll see Live layers accelerate in 2020 and if you're a programmer and want to customize your own Geochron Atlas with an API key, please reach out to us.
 

What about older Geochron Digitals, before 2020?  

Send us your pictures, and we'll enter them for our 2020 Holiday contest!

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