Jump to content

Don't Need Gps


Recommended Posts

I notice that when a cache is located in a built up area, that Google Earth is so good that anyone can go straight to the cache, particularly using the clues.

So What ?..well I am only setting puzzle caches now and/or caches in the boonies.Also where I live in Thailand some parts of Google are very fuzzy, so that's OK.

I guess being able to geocache without a GPS may attract people to get one so they can be more "adventurous"

BTW if u want to see a very interesting puzzle cache and it's follow ups, go to the Singapore page and check out one by ZENG..it's about martians or something similar.

There's also one called RED, these guys are really expanding the envelope.

Link to comment

Have you tried using Google earth (without a GPSr) to walk straight to a cache? :D:D


Yes, although I probably made a few left and right turns, there are many examples you may peruse on the website, where they have been placed near buildings. especially in USA.

Edited by gerboa
Link to comment

I've been "actively" geocaching sans-GPS for about a month, and only have 5 finds. I go out almost daily using help from Google Earth.


Now, if 5 finds in, say, 25 trips with the help of Google Earth is "easy", then I'd hate to see what "hard" is!


Once you get better at map / photo reading you can be much more efficient. The problem is that the GPS is just a bit less accurate than the map so you have to first figure out where the listed coordinates are... then figure out where the cache is in relation to that spot. Best case is right on, worst I've found so far is about 100 meters away.

Link to comment

Have you tried using Google earth (without a GPSr) to walk straight to a cache? :laughing::rolleyes:


Ahha... but the beauty is you don't always want to walk straight to it. With a map or photo you are able to pick the most efficient route and the best parking spot before you leave home. A straight line can sometimes be the worst approach.

Link to comment

Google Earth is an awesome app, but it isn't particularly accurate when showing caches.


It helps if you input the coordinates directly and not use the GC icon or GC kml. I use a small red cross or red dot as the icon and it will get you VERY close to where you want to go. I have gotten as close as 3 feet if there are good visible landmarks to reference. Still prefer the GPS but I am amazed at how good Google Earth is in SOME situations.

Link to comment

The automatic geocaching icons (kml file) feature of google earth that you download from geocaching.com is inaccurate by design the icons jump around because geocaching.com is actually sending dfferent coordinates that are near the actual cache spot, but never the actual coordinates. If you rely on just that, it will be difficult to actually see the exact spot.


Further complicating matters, sometimes the images in GE don't actually line up with the GPS coordinates properly. have you ever noticed when the overlayed roads don't line up with the roads in the picture? The roads are in the right spot, the image is off.


One way to get around this is to install 3dSolar's google earth addon, which adds new image sources to google earth, like USGS topo and USGS ortho overlays, which are (in my experience) always dead-on accurate. The ortho overlay is a black-and-white photo that is as good or better resolution to the color photos that come in GE, even in rural areas.


Combining the ortho view with manually entering coordinates, or importing gpx files instead of relying on the KML file (which changes), you can easily get accurate, consistent results which can help you find caches without a gps easily.


Cacheopedia article on this

Edited by BigWhiteTruck
Link to comment

....just to clarify. I dont' use Google Earth, but there are maps out there that will show you exactly where the cache is supposed to be assuming that the listed coordinates are accurate.



I'm suprised anyone can find anything just using GE. GE will not get you to ground zero.


It's probably more due to geo-instincts, likely hiding places and a wide search.

Link to comment

Don't get me wrong - I love GE - but it doesn't make anything too easy.


Many are very easy as the cachers don't take any trouble, and place stuff which together with the hint/s need negligible navigation/deduction.


If a puzzle had to be solved to get them it would be OK but I guess as LCD they are catering to LCD.

Link to comment

Google Earth is most useful--with high-resolution, up-to-date imagery--for areas that don't need it. We recently solved a puzzle and input the coordinates to GE. It showed the particular lamppost at the edge of a park walking path in which the cache was hidden! (Granted, it really showed a spot 15 feet from the post, but we got the idea..)


In scouting for routes to remote caches in rugged areas the image resolution is so low that all GE shows is a mottled green texture--useless for determining the location of cliffs, density and type of vegetation, stuff you really want to know in planning a difficult bushwhack hike.

Link to comment

We have had some success with GE as have others. We found it more helpful in finding our first 30 or so caches (WITHOUT GPS) were the cache descriptions along with GE adn other mapping software. We even dusted off our old USGS Quad maps and drew lots of silly lines all over them. I guess if someone places a really large cache, I mean really large and we all can wait the two to three years it takes to update the image files to GE then technically GE could find a cache. That goodness our GPS finally arrived, thanks eBay.


GE for us is one of many tools we use. It gets more use now when we are scouting a place for a hide more than finding. Its great to see where, approximately, other caches in the area are located - then we can choose a spot less obvious.

Link to comment

I just started geocaching a few days ago, and have found 3 out of about 20 or so attempts. I spend a lot of time hiking/biking in the woods of santa cruz, and I know my way around the city as well, so usually by looking at GE, and looking at any pictures/logs/hints/whatever I can get a good idea of where something is. I just end up having to do a wider search to find it.


I plan on buying a gps in the very near future, but until then I'll keep doing it this way.

Link to comment

I placed a cache earlier in the week, and got an email from the reviewer that it would have to be moved as it was too close to a cache that had been approved but wouldn't be listed until this evening. I went out to pick my cache up and started looking in a southwesterly direction, which is the direction of the other cache I spotted an area about 100 feet away sure enough it was in the first placed I looked. Just common cache sense. And yes I signed the log :lol:

Link to comment

Have you tried using Google earth (without a GPSr) to walk straight to a cache? :lol::P


The cache would probably have to have no tree cover. If the cache was in the middle of the woods I would imagine you would have to be really lucky to find the cache just by using Google Earth.

Link to comment

Tree cover is sometimes a problem in a coniferous forest, but photos I use are taken when the leaves are down, and the occasional hemlock or cedar tree makes a great landmark when viewed from above. So far I have stuck to black and white photos because for me they are easier to interpret. Again these are not Google Earth... but photos are available that do a great job of pin pointing a set of coordinates. Of course they do not guarantee that the cache is at those coordinates. :lol:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...