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Old 11-09-2005, 07:54   #1
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Google Earth a Great Sailing Tool

I've spent several weeks compiling the data from a long sailing cruise and putting it into Google Earth. It includes the passages and all of the anchorages where our sailboat PatiCat went from the US down through the Caribbean. If you click on the anchorages, you can follow links to web pages where visits to those island nations were documented.

I think Google Earth is an excellent way for documenting a long journey like this. Let me know what you think.

You can read "Sailing the Seven Seas" and download the Google Earth File at the Google Earth Blog here.

NOTE: You will need to install Google Earth to see the Google Earth file I've created. Believe me, if you like electronic charts, you'll love the free Google Earth application. Go to earth.google.com to download.

The only drawback I can see to Google Earth is that you need to have a broadband connection to the Internet to use it effectively. Kinda hard to do at sea today. But, you can kind of get around this - read my Google Earth tips about using Google Earth offline at the blog.
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Old 19-09-2005, 08:31   #2
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Anyone have a chance to look at my Google Earth file yet? I'd really like feedback from other cruisers.
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Old 19-09-2005, 08:47   #3
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You asked for it! :)

Hi Frank,

You asked for feedback, so here it is:

I think the technology is interesting. I have always been interested in sat imaging and zoomin in on various places *I've* been.

To see someone else's cruising routes on it though really has little meaning to me, as a viewer. I have never been to the exact places you zoom in on, so they have little meaning to me, personally.

Writing in a log book is great.
Taking photos is great.
Making a website so others can follow your journey is great.
This, however, is so detailed, you start to lose something.

As a viewer who has not been to the BVI's yet, I almost don't want to look, for fear of spoiling my own future experiences there. I mean SOMETHING has to remain a mystery, or it wouldn't be cruising.

Hope this honest feedback helps. Not trying to say you shouldn't do these kinds of logs, but as a viewer, I was overwhelmed with detail.

Maybe for someone who will never go sailing, this might be a good thing to look at?
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Old 19-09-2005, 11:46   #4
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I think it's pretty cool. I love playing with Google Earth. Sean, try lowering the drop down menu under "places" and you will see that each place listed links to their log on a web site. I also like the way you have it organized by passage. Is there a way to annotate more on the GE "map" display? It would be useful if you could mouse over a route and get some info such as dates traveled and show where events in your log occured.

Is there a way to set this up on the boat and upload it ashore? Or, do you have to be online to enter all of this info in?

Woody
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Old 19-09-2005, 12:07   #5
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Exposure...thanks for your reply. I've had other cruiser friends who also think its very cool.

There are many things you can do with Google Earth to make the interface even more informative. Currently, you can't select a path in the visual window, but you could select a passage in the Places window and there put information in the description for things like dates, weather encountered, links to the log entries, etc.

Yes, you could do this off line. In fact, you could download all the local imagery into your cache and view Google Earth while not connected to the Internet (limited to 2GB). Information on how to do this is here.

You need Google Earth Plus ($20) to be able to create paths within Google Earth. Or you could manually do it if you learn the KML file format and keep using the free version.
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Old 25-09-2005, 15:12   #6
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Here's a screen shot from the Google Earth file showing our passages and anchorages around the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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Old 08-11-2005, 07:09   #7
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Another cruiser has done an EXCELLENT Google Earth log of his journey through the Caribbean (with anchorage waypoints also including Venezuela, Columbia and Central America not already included in the earlier post). He also has links to his web site with full details and photos about the various stopping points during his trip.

You can read his post at the Google Earth Community and download his Google Earth file frrom there.

Here's a picture from Google Earth:
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Old 08-11-2005, 16:03   #8
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Impressive. You've obviously done a LOT of work.

It may have more meaning for me when I'm headed back to one of the areas you visited and seeking more info.

This is my first time to look at Google Earth. I was expecting a little better resolution down to a lower altitude. Do you get a "closer" view from one of the "for pay" options.
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Old 08-11-2005, 18:27   #9
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The resolution of the data is dependent on the location. Resolution for major metropolitan areas are much higher than most areas. You can sometimes tell by just looking where they have a higher resolutoin photo (usually a different colored rectangle).

In general, remote areas like the Caribbean and Pacific islands are at the minimum (1 km resolution). However, Google Earth allows you to easily do an image overlay. So, if you have access to higher resolution images you can install them into your Google Earth yourself.

Also, Google is reularly adding higher resoltuion photos all over the world about once every other month. Mostly for metropolitan areas, but sometimes random shots for remote areas are added.
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Old 09-11-2005, 07:57   #10
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By the way, the new file created by Geoff Shultz inspired me to complete the log for PatiCat in Google Earth. So, if you load the Google Earth file (NOTE: you must have Google Earth installed) you will now see the entire log of PatiCat's voyages.

Full details on this can be read here.
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Old 09-11-2005, 14:05   #11
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What I think would be really interseting with google earth would be the ability to superimpose a weather map....

Kevin
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Old 14-11-2005, 09:56   #12
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Hi Frank,
I've visited your site and I like the Google Earth tool you used. I've never been to those places but its neat to zoom in on them.
I enjoy your log also.
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Old 14-11-2005, 15:19   #13
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KevinE - you can definitely overlay all kinds of weather data onto Google Earth. I have a collection of useful storm tracking tools you can download for Google Earth right here:

Google Earth Storm Tracking Tools

Here's a screenshot:

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Old 05-07-2006, 15:25   #14
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Update to our Google Earth passages and anchorages

Just so you guys know, I updated our Google Earth file of our voyages and included photos at nearly all our anchorages in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Bahamas. Also available are links back to our web site describing each island we visited related to the anchorages (which also include even more photos). The Google Earth file not only shows the anchorages, but also shows the approximate routes we took between.

Here's a link to the story at Google Earth Blog:

http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archi...g_adventu.html



Please note the anchorages and passages are NOT based on GPS position and should not be used for navigational purposes.
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Old 05-07-2006, 15:29   #15
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Tropical Islands High Resolution Aerial Photos in Google Earth

You guys may not have heard, but a couple of weeks ago Google did a huge update to their satellite/aerial photos and have added glorious overhead photos of many tropical islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, as well as anchorages around many other coastal regions around the world. They also have not erased water areas around the coasts (like they did before) so you can actually see boats at anchor in many places.

It's really wonderful stuff! Go download Google Earth and check it out - it's free!

http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html

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