An Astro-Mapping Masterpiece
by Esoteric Technologies (the creators of Solar Fire)
[Note: Solar Maps is no longer sold separately. Instead it has been included with Solar Fire Gold from version 8 onwards]
[Note: Solar Maps now includes the built-in full ACS electronic atlas with coordinates and time zones and time changes for over 250,000 locations.]
Solar Maps is the most advanced astrological mapping program that I have ever reviewed. It comes with 59 maps, including ones for all of the major continents, most major countries, and several sections of the U.S., and is able to zoom in on any area of the World (and have that area be displayed full screen, and optionally saved as a new map for re-using later). You can change the color of the land masses, the bodies of water, the astrological points, and the lines (and change line thicknesses) and print maps in full color. You can even view and print the maps with day/night shading, (showing where it's daytime and where it's night).
Solar Maps can show state and country boundaries, lakes and rivers, and city names. You can create your own lists of cities to display, or use one of the ones built in. The maps can be viewed as Cartesian or Mercator projections or on a spherical or oblate globe. You can even place a coordinate grid over any map showing longitude and latitude lines. These features are optional and can be turned on and off at any time.
In its mapping features, Solar Maps really shines. It not only does a superb job of displaying Local Space (planet, house, and horizon) lines; Planet/Angle lines (drawn traditionally, using mundane angles as Astro*Carto*Graphy does, or using Ecliptic angles), and Paran lines (for any point to all other points -- a first!) but it can do each of these for both the traditional planets & points, AND for six asteroids, Vulcan, Transpluto, Lilith, the TransNeps, and for a selection of up to 36 fixed stars. Lines are both color-coded and very clearly labeled, so there is no ambiguity about what line you're looking at, even when you've turned on thirty different points or both Planet/Angle and Local Space lines at the same time. If you click on a line, a high-quality interpretation for that line immediately pops up. Solar Maps makes it incredibly easy to investigate what points are influencing you at any place in the world, and what their effects are. Solar Maps can also display the path of the Ecliptic and the boundaries of the zodiacal signs, and displays the eclipse paths for any eclipse from 1951 on. This is a powerhouse program that is so simple to use that even an amateur astrologer and computer novice will have no trouble.
(For those readers who are unfamiliar with astro-mapping, a brief explanation may be in order. The basic theory is simple, that a city where a natal planet would be rising at the time of your birth, for example, would be a place that would tend to exaggerate or amplify that planets' energy. On a Saturn line, you may become more serious and hard working, while on a Venus line you might want to flirt more or create artwork. Planet/Angle lines are drawn for areas where planets are rising, setting, culminating, or anti-culminating. Each local Space line is drawn radiating from ones birthplace in the direction a planet was at birth. E.g., if Saturn was North West of you at your birthtime and place, the Saturn line would be drawn heading in that direction. Paran lines are placed where one planet is rising (or setting, culminating, or anticulminating) at the same time that another planet is rising.)
Solar Maps' reports and listings are invaluable. You can view a list of all of the Parans by latitude, with the cities nearest each crossing shown too, a list of the Parans near any selected location, and a list of city directions showing what cities are nearest each local space line. You can view a three page interpretation of all of the astrological factors affecting any location, complete with information on how strong each factor is, and can print out the relocation report using Windows Write or your own word processor. You can also copy the lists, maps, and charts to the Windows clipboard, for pasting into another program.
Solar Maps has almost too many features to be able to document them all adequately in one article. You can display a variety of chart wheels, including standard natal and relocated charts, local space wheels, and geodetic charts. You can switch to a Geodetic (equatorial) projection, if you wish to explore that system of mapping. If you own Solar Fire, you can run Solar Maps from within Solar Fire, and immediately return to Solar Fire when you're done.
Solar Maps is full of niceties. As you move the mouse pointer around the map, it shows you the longitude and latitude wherever the pointer is. It also comes with several very useful tools, including the zoom tool, for looking closely at any area, a measuring tool that allows you to find the distance between any two points on any map, and a relocation tool, that you can use to instantly view any number of relocated charts, by simply clicking on each point on a map you want to see a chart for.
Perhaps the most astounding feature of Solar Maps is its ability to do Cyclo*Carto*Graphy-type mapping, i.e. to display transiting, secondary progressed, and tertiary progressed planet (and other point) positions in relationship to natal angles. Solar Maps again goes far beyond Cyclo*Carto*Graphy, by allowing you to use any points, and by progressing not only Planet/Angle lines, but also Local Space and Paran lines. Progressed, transit, and return charts produced by Solar Fire can even be mapped. Outstanding!
As if these weren't enough features, Solar Maps introduces the first mapping Astro*Clock. You can watch Local Space, Planet/Angle, and Paran lines for the present moment move across any map. Each minute, the lines are adjusted for the new rising and culminating positions. What an amazing way to watch the sky!
Solar Maps will fulfill virtually every astrologers dream of an astro-mapping program. With crystal clear maps and lines, any number of displayed points, predictive mapping, well-written interpretations, and an incredibly well-designed user interface, Solar Maps brings locational astrology expertise to your doorstep.
Solar Maps version 3
Esoteric Technologies has recently released the latest version of Solar Maps (version 3).
This version of Solar Maps is a major revision, with much more accurate maps, the ability to see multiple eclipse lines on one map, better zooming, hurricane and earthquake mapping, planetary aspect and midpoint astromapping lines, multiple planet paran lines, Solar Arc direction lines, the ability to save maps as images and to email them, and help in updating the program via the Internet. The latest version of the full U.S. and World ACS PC atlas is now embedded in the software, for auto-lookup of the correct coordinates and time zone for over 250,000 cities throughout the World.
Following my suggestions, they added a wonderful selection of beautiful map color schemes, true Cyclo*Carto*Graphy mapping (i.e. showing both outer transit lines and inner progression lines on the same map), the ability to generate multiple point-and-click interpretive locality reports (just keep clicking on different cities and interpretations for them are added to the report), and best of all, the ability to animate maps. You can watch transiting, progressed, and directed lines move over maps forward or backward in time.
All of these enhancements and additions make Solar Maps an excellent tool for any astrologer serious about astromapping, as well as for people who want to get the best locality interpretive reports available today.
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