Monday, February 9, 2015

Google Earth and Tracking Trackables

It's been an exciting week for Google Earth!  They're offering the license key for Google Earth Pro (normally $399) for free!

I will confess here that I have a love/hate relationship with Google Earth.  It was thanks to Google Earth that I bought my first iPad.  We were vacationing in Traverse City and my nephew pulled up satellite images of Grand Traverse lighthouse!  First time I've ever seen anything like that.  We spent the evening scanning other Michigan landmarks. It was thrilling every time I opened the app to see the globe and then watch as we swooped to our current location!

Grand Traverse Bay Lighthouse
And then Google Earth seemed to drop the ball when it came to it's iPhone app.  The app would take up more and more room and offered less and less features.  Someone also said the desktop version would no longer pin the coordinates you were entering but the closest building or address.  Annoying. So it was with great excitement when I downloaded the Pro version on my desktop for free - already playing with it!

Google Earth Pro - Detroit Ren Cen in the lower right
And I LOVE Google street view.  My sister-in-law asked the name of the restaurant in Mexicantown next to "that great mural".  Well, there's murals everywhere down there - a very colorful neighborhood.  I told her to "street view" it and see if it was the right one. It can be a powerful tool for planning trips and routing cache runs. 

One of my all-time favorite caches involves Google Earth (Views from Orbit GC27MAW). You can see an airplane in the Google map of the historic and ever-popular cache, Beverly GC28 (rumor has it people have searched for the plane!) And there's even funny websites dedicated to the wackiest scenes captured on Google Earth.

Beverly GC28
Why all the ruminating about Google Earth?  I was listening to the latest GeoGearheads show. Someone had emailed asking how to map out a trackable's history.  

I had the same answer as debaere - above the logs, click on the View Map link.  It takes you to this map, which diagrams, in order, each visit.  As an added bonus, if you scroll down you will see all the logs (including GC codes, mileage, and state information).

DarrylW4 had a different answer.  In the Trackable Options box (upper right corner), click on View in Google Earth.  It navigated me to the Google Earth app on my iPhone (and downloaded a .kml file to open in Google Earth in my desktop) to generate this map.  Pretty cool, eh?   

It's a slightly different perspective. Weird that I pride myself in knowing so well and never noticed that link before.  

Next up is to take a test-run of Geotribes, whose tagline is "interactive maps & statistics for geocaching travelbugs, geocoins and all your trackable items...".  Debaere said it has some pretty nifty features so that's good enough for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sign my (b)log!