Modeling Sky in 3 Dimensions—Using Google Earth to View the Sky
To this end, the Sloan digital sky survey project seeks to survey and map in 3D the sky. To date, its efforts cover over one quarter of the sky which includes over one million galaxies and quasars. By using a 120 Megapixel camera capturing 1.2 degrees of the sky at a time, the project captures data through high speed software pipes to build a truly unique image of the stars.
Jim Gunn of Princeton started a similar effort with his Galaxy Catalog using the Palomar Observatory
The Samuel Oschin Telescope has been surveying the skies since 1948 and searches for moving objects and variable stars and galaxies. Using a ‘drift scan mode’ the shutter remains open and the telescope fixed at specific declination to capture the movement of the stars which creates a circular pattern.
Google joined the effort by giving its Google Earth the capability to view the sky. You can see more here.