In 2007, I noticed that all of the constellation lines in Google Sky are the same as those on the SFA Star Charts.

I'm glad to see those constellation patterns in Google Sky. I spend months researching what constellation patterns had been used by others and I selected the ones that I liked best. I started working on the charts in 1998 and worked on them during spare time until I finally finished them in 2002. One reason that it took me so long is that I hand picked each constellation line for all 88 constellations.

The constellation pattern that I was never happy with in any of the books that I used was that of Bootes. Sure it's the "midnight kite" but Bootes is supposed to be a herdsman or shepherd. Bootes on our charts was unique to the SFA Star Charts because it is a modification that I came up with.   I tried to make Bootes look more like Orion. I wanted it to look like a shepherd holding a staff (see above). So that staff is how I tell if someone used my data set.

The Google Sky team used the constellation lines that I have freely available here in Excel format:

Here's an article that I submitted to Sky & Telescope magazine in 2002:
The charts are pretty popular with 321,000+ downloads.

Bootes is just one example. All 88 constellations are the same in Google Sky as found on the SFA Star Charts.

Clear skies,
Dan Bruton