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Old 13-04-2008, 16:55   #1
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Google Earth as an aid to navigation

Has anyone used Google earth as an aid to navigation, mainly for pre plotting an entrance into an area?

I found the new version shows more detail (or maybe it's my new 22'" monitor) and the measuring device is handy for seeing how far away things are and how wide entrances are.

But are the measurements and lat/long accurate enough to input to a GPS?

or are they only good enough to get within visual of the destination.

As an example, pics of a lagoon I was looking at.

Cold beer, cool water and crayfish, gotta be some around there

Dave
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Old 13-04-2008, 17:20   #2
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Cat,

You draw less than most, but I would be reluctant to go in without scouting. Google Earth can give you an idea of where you might like to go, but I would take the precaution of anchoring and scouting in my dinghy with a hand-held depth sounder (available for about $100 US)
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Old 13-04-2008, 17:29   #3
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You could check the lat and long with your gps when you pinpoint your cray. I imagine that if the water is clear enough for google earth, it is clear enough for you to see, visually (Nice bit of redundancy) whether you have enough water. Robert
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Old 13-04-2008, 17:32   #4
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Naturally so, I never go into strange places without a scout in the dinghy first.

Because of my shallow draft I always found the "Magic Stick" (boathook worked well enough, buy I would look at one of those handhelds if they are only $100 as well.

Handy for scouting out murky anchorages, I know, I have parked in ones with 30 ft tides and have seen very thin water the next morning where the chart said there was depth.

Dave
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Old 13-04-2008, 19:15   #5
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I have used it to enter the Kaipara harbour as a visual aid, (depends as to how up to date the shots are) I printed copies for use on board. It showed the extent of the major sandbanks etc. Also used it where the chart survey stopped, the photo showing where I wanted to go was at low tide so I could see all the channels etc, it certainly worked for me. I think the lat and longitudes are correct as you can enter them to find a known shoal or reef, and there it is.
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Old 13-04-2008, 19:27   #6
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Quote:
Has anyone used Google earth as an aid to navigation, mainly for pre plotting an entrance into an area?
I can now have dual display with ENC charts and Google earth. The accuracy of the photos is not as good as charts. I wouldn't thread the needle with it and trust it. Photos have to be ratioed and rectified to be close to accurate and these are pretty high altitude stuff. It all is usefully to be sure but don't try a detailed approach with one when local knowledge is needed beyond what the charts say.
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Old 13-04-2008, 20:12   #7
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This is a NOAA offering. New and pretty slick. The high altitute view is google earth. As you get closer it automatically switches view to nautical charts.

Here's the link

NOAA

Not a bad tool for route planning.
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Old 13-04-2008, 21:22   #8
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Very cool site Rick, now for the rest of the world

Dave
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Old 14-04-2008, 01:39   #9
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Has anyone used Google earth as an aid to navigation, mainly for pre plotting an entrance into an area?
I think they are good additions but the sat photos are more frequently updated for high density areas (like coastal towns) than for low (like idyllic anchorages). So for terrain association it makes nice but somewhat extraneous addition.

The future value, in my opinion, is what you can (or cant) do once you reach shore. It would be great to know as I approach an island that the only place to get internet is the post office, that I have to use their computer, and that it is closed except for days they get mail in. Or the chandlery shop is out of 5/8 line but has 200 of chain.

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Old 01-05-2008, 18:48   #10
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Has anyone used Google earth as an aid to navigation, mainly for pre plotting an entrance into an area?
Absolutely! Google earth is the only 'navigation' program I dare install on my work computer.
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