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I was talking w/ a longtime cruiser and he said he uses Google Earth to get a satellite view of whatever harbor he is approaching (South Pacific) and uses that to get familiar w/ the approach. Just saves the screen shot to pull up later even if he has no WI-FI.
Since Charts and Chartplotters are not always accurate, your GPS may put you on a reef.
Now I'm wondering if you use GOOGLE EARTH and the gps function together to place your boat on the display is THAT accurate? In other words, when the little icon shows up on the satellite view is that really what I'm doing?

I know the GPS on my phone shows where I am on the satellite view. It usually has me within 2 parking spaces when I'm sitting in my truck!:cool:
Works pretty well on the Bay too.
 

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I've done that. An aerial view is nice to have at times. I've also used it to find anchorages ahead of where I am going.
 

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Living the dream
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Yep, i've done the same thing too. I think apps like opencpn have a GE plugin that allows using GE as an overlay on the chart, which would make things easy.

Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk 2
 

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I agree, its good to get a look at an inlet or harbor. I would not *rely* on it though, Google Earth Images can be out of date by a year or more.

EarthNC does overlays. Here is an example of
Ocracoke (pamlico side)

click on:
- "charts" (no overlay),
- "satelite" (to overlay charts on the google earth view)
- "map" (to overlay charts on a map view)

 

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I also use it to orient myself with an anchorage or harbor. It helps you get a visual feel for the place. Not that we don't use charts but it's another aid to help you out.

Brad
Lancer 36
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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I agree, its good to get a look at an inlet or harbor. I would not *rely* on it though, Google Earth Images can be out of date by a year or more.
I've used google earth on a laptop to navigate narrow channels at nearby river deltas. While the google earth image could be a year old, the chart soundings could be thirty years or forty years old.
 

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On my iPad I have an app called Maps. You need an Internet connection but it shows a live flashing icon of the boats position on a moving overhead picture. It's very cool to use but I can also see its value in strange areas.

The iPad has a built in GPS which is very accurate. Right now it has the boat exactly where it is.
 

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we were out and had some electrical problems .. used google maps on an Iphone to get us back into the harbor worked like a charm .. we knew the area just low enough visability that we couldnt figure out anything .. and all the lights went out on us .. great to have the backup.
 

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Google Earth is absolutly accurate.
There are programs to cache Google Earth inages, and on a PC the images are cached for a while anyway.

Some locations in the South Pacific are pitifully charted. Tonga is a good example where some of the islands in the popular Va'vu group are a half mile out. That would be fine... But hell for seeing the reefs in between!

I think Google Earth is excellent for cruisers, not only for navigation but for the simplest sounding things that tun out to be quite important... Finding, even, the dinghy dock in a new area! Just zoom in and look for all those little grey blobs.
 
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Google Earth is absolutly accurate.
There are programs to cache Google Earth inages, and on a PC the images are cached for a while anyway.

Some locations in the South Pacific are pitifully charted. Tonga is a good example where some of the islands in the popular Va'vu group are a half mile out. That would be fine... But hell for seeing the reefs in between!

I think Google Earth is excellent for cruisers, not only for navigation but for the simplest sounding things that tun out to be quite important... Finding, even, the dinghy dock in a new area! Just zoom in and look for all those little grey blobs.
Yes if the pics are good you can tell a lot looking at a combination of chart and the aerial view. There's a tremendous amount of very useful info you can see in the aerial pics.

I set the Cache to max 2GB ( In Google Tools, options, cache) then delete the cache and browse the all the coastlines and save the cache file for each destination.

Offline ( aboard) I then load the saved cache into the cache directory for the area I want to look at.

Using XP the cache is stored here:
C:\Documents and Settings\Xis\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth but you will need to enable "show hidden files, folders, and drives" in Folder Options before you can see these folders.

For the PC challenged you could get someone to set up a simple s c r i p t file or even drag the appropriately named location folder contents into the cache folder.
 
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