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Way better than the best map

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Old 01-06-2007, 07:03 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the rifle range in Utah
Posts: 2,723
Way better than the best map

Not sure where to post this but I use this tool for hunting so I thought I should post it here. Most of you probably have heard about it or use it already but if you haven't, you should check it out. The tool is called GoogleEarth.

It is a free download from the web and is comprised of satellite images of the whole earth. You can zoom in and look at the dog in your backyard! I use it for looking at old roads, game trails, foilage, and other things that normal maps won't show. It also helps to lay the image at an angle to show the contour of the land and show you how steep a particular hike you might want to take will be.
It can also be set up to "fly through" an area like flying in an ultralight at low altitude.

It also has a cool feature called a "ruler". It is basically a distance estimater between point A and point B. It shows you the distance in miles so you have to convert it to yards to figure how far a shot might be. I have gone back in and compared distances of some of my shots to what my rangefinder said and it has been accurate to within several yards!

It also has points of interest with links over to Wikipedia information. It shows restaurants, parks, county boundaries, and many other good things.

Only downside is that it will bog down dial up so bad that you can't stand it. Pretty much have to have broadband or something else that is fast with downloads. Check it out. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
Just type in "google earth" on google and follow the links.
Find it
Range it
Click it
Pull it
Dump it

If it's not far, it's boring.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:50 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: centre,alabama
Posts: 948
Re: Way better than the best map

Delorme Topo is pretty good as well...
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:28 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Yakima, Washington
Posts: 3,833
Re: Way better than the best map


I've been using it almost daily for a couple of years now and wouldn't want to be without it. Before going to Idaho last year I had a folder in the trailer of printouts of all the areas we were going to hunt with the "ruler" measurements for all likely looking shot possibilities. If you have an air card and laptop you can utilize it in the field also. Like you said, it is quite accurate and in fact, one deer was taken from a spot previously picked using Google Earth. I'd also recommend it to anyone that is serious about hunting and especially for looking at new areas.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:37 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Back in the south -NW FL..
Posts: 1,142
Re: Way better than the best map

I've downloaded the free mapping and can't get any resolution like GG speaks of ?

GG did you buy the upgrade ?
Thanks -Mike [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:51 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Yakima, Washington
Posts: 3,833
Re: Way better than the best map

Ol' Mike:

All areas in Google Earth are not high resolution displays. If you look at a spot and it isn't high res, just zoom out and you will see the differences in the low rez and high rez spots. Areas are updated to high rez periodically so just keep checking for the areas to update.

You might also play with the tools>options settings to see if it makes a difference. There may also be a problem with your computer's graphics capabilities when it comes to Google Earth.

Here is a high rez pic. See if anyone recognizes this area.

Here is the same area zoomed out. You can see the high rez on the right and on the left you can see a low rez area.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: Way better than the best map

I agree Google Earth is a great resource. Since you started this thread, I'll add a resource that I believe is even better if you have access to a laptop computer.

Microsoft has a competing server to Google Earth, its the Microsoft TerraServer. It serves up mainly black and white photos that shows better detail for the areas I hunt than the Google Earth color pictures. There is a free ware application "USAPhotoMaps" that can download and save the files from the Microsoft Terra Server, so you can use them while not connected to the internet. The application also can interface to a GPS, so you can have live positioning on your laptop via a small GPS. It also downloads Topo maps and you can switch between them with a click of a button.

I use a Dell laptop, Garmin usb GPS ($99) and a usb drive (80GB $100) to store the maps. With the laptop, GPS and the small hard drive, I can scout an area and have immediate access to the satelite images and topo maps with my current position. This setup is beyond handy for scouting new territory.

I also use a topo map book to show the private/public boundaries, since those aren't listed on the computer maps.

There is also a free ware batch download utility called Terrafetcher that enables you to download an entire county, state or random area while you are away from your computer.

Hope this was good info for you all.

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: Way better than the best map

I like to use it as a "prescouting" tool. In addition to the measureing tool, the thing I use the most is the elevation read out from the pointer. If you spot a likely looking shooting spot you can run the pointer around looking at how fast the land falls away and how high or low pieces of terrain are. Depending on the time of day and I guess the season, it is hard to sometimes tell which are the ridges and which are the valleys because of the shadows so the elevation readout helps with that too.
I never use it alone. I always use a topo map to go with it.

One thing you should be careful of is the ovelay informtion concering roads in the back country. There is a lot of inaccuracy on all kinds of maps. In Idaho in country I had never been, I was using three differrent topo maps and they all had roads in different places. No one map was ever consistently correct. The difference between gps and maps was by as much as 400 yards.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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