Originally Posted by sailingdog
I wouldn't recommend using Google Earth for navigation, IIRC, it is highly reliant on having a good internet connection, since it "logs" in to the server when it launches. Try running it without a net connection and see what happens..
If you're just using it for trip planning at home, where an internet connection is going to be relatively reliable, go for it. But be aware that the GPS and the Google Maps chart datums may not match.
SD - Obviously if this were reliant on a good internet connection it would be of no use. It isn't..You "cache" the GE data for the areas you are going to be in. The GPS is an independent signal, of course, and the NOAA chart info is an overlay, so you can use it without a net connection.
I realize that Google Earth has not been used much for navigation, but it doesn't take a "rocket surgeon" to see where technology is going.
I would say that a net connection would be the ultimate goal as it will be for chartplotters etc.. NOAA already offers free radar overlays (for the US) and weather VOS (Volunteer Observing Ship) program where ships report weather data and their location. These reports show up in GE. If there is ever a broadband connection at sea to somehow allow for real-time data, that would be the holy grail.
But the EarthNC integration of NOAA ENCs, marine weather and real-time positioning data directly into the Google Earth platform seems offer great navigation potential. I'm just testing it out, but so far it seems pretty impressive.