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mhfares

Google Earth And Geocaching

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Many of you know about Google earth and there is now a new release version 4 Beta. I tried it and I could tell the images are very recent and the coverage is more detailed now. After so many years with my yellow eTrex, I finally bought a new GPSMAP 276C and so I’m more into maps now. For those who do not know already, like me, I wanted to share few things with them:

 

You can download coordinates from the geocaching site using the loc or gps format and read it directly into google earth, beside your gps unit. Before, I used to enter coordinates manually into my eTrex.

 

Once you bring up Google Earth and read the way point file, you will be able to see the cache site as they are located in real terrain. This way you can plan your way before you start your engine, specially if you have more than one cache. Better yet, you can choose sites for new cache based on the terrain you see from top provided by the satellite image. Believe me, It’s a lot of fun this way.

 

The possibilities of what you can do with this product are numerous. For this, Google made up an earth community of users to utilize the product along with a .KML/KMZ file. This is a file format for storing placemarks, network link information, and much more ..You can store your work in this format and share with others. Once the file is opened, it will start Google Earth and fly you to specific locations you described in your work.

 

Of course, you have to have Google Earth installed which you can do easily and here is the link for that:

 

http://earth.google.com

 

Then you can read in the .KZ files from others. Here is one example I prepared for you. It shows the four different camel trails that you are all familiar with by now. Here is the link for the file:

 

http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.ph...0/page/2#468566

 

If you have the google earth installed, just read in the file and it will fly you to all the camel trails and more. Here is a snapshot of Faisal pinnacle:

 

2933307230049238478qFBZeH_th.jpg

 

Check out the Chameleon with the superb view overlooking Faisal pinnacle. Speaking of which, look at the gap between the top of the pinnacle and the nearest point on the escarpment. It is about 600m according to the ruler in the google earth. See the shadow cast by the pinnacle in the back, the sun must be shining from the south at the time the image was captured .. probably late in the afternoon.

 

Go down to the nearby camel trail 4 which is a multicache and check out the start and end points. You can see the cache site from the shadow cast on Lord Jimbo tomb.

 

Check out the descent to Holey Cheese rock and the coffee pot in camel trail 3 (multicache), then visit the sherry snake at trail 2.

 

Lastly but certainly no the least is camel trail 1. This is very interesting as you could see very clearly the trail winding down the escarpment. Here is a snapshot for that:

 

2195113490049238478YNQUqp_th.jpg

 

I added few extras as you can see the dam not far from camel trail 1. Also check out the beautiful red sand dunes near Jakes (now archived). See the dry lake bed of Kharrara.

 

2543279820049238478RlGEvx_th.jpg

 

I also added Abu Marwah Dhal (sinkhole) not far from the 400year old cache. You can see clearly the hole in the ground. The file contains only way points but imagine what you can do/share with tracks .. I leave this for your imagination. Enjoy.

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:laughing: Well done MHFares do I feel you getting ready for another set of statistics?

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:anicute: Well done MHFares do I feel you getting ready for another set of statistics?

 

It’s been 13 months since I posted my last stats but the numbers simply do not warrant a new analysis M&M. In spite of the new caches (& cachers) being introduced, the total number has not gone up much. Some existing caches are archived as well. So I'll wait a little bit longer.

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:unsure:

 

m a new member and still have to find my new cache. i recently bought a hp hw6515c ppc for its gps functionality and now have enough softwares and maps to start my geocaching.

 

for weeks i am studying all the nearest caches located near my accomodation and planning the best cache to start with. also considered getting a more rugged gpsr for this purpose (only the old model yellow etrex is available in riyadh). m located at riyadh (N24.5289 E046.9084) and presently working here for the past 5 years.

 

my car is a toyota hi lux 2w pick-up and not sure what cache is easily reachable.

 

can you give me an advice where to start? i dont mind hiking for 1 to 2 kilometers. i am thinking of GCVYQF (Wadi Laban Bridge), or GC8DG9A (see of birds), or GCG05Y (water hole).

 

thanks.

 

:(

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Welcome to the game ..

 

To start geocaching all you need is the ability to read coordinates. Gps’s come in many forms and shapes .. some are standalone which range from the simplest & cheapest to the more exotic and fancy looking. Others are integrated with another device like ppc or mobile phone ..etc.

 

Coordinates alone will tell you the destination but maps will show you how to get there so they are a plus. Additionally, they can be a lot of joy to use.

 

If the cache is more than one kilometer away from where you’re located, which is the usual case, then you definitely need a car. Cache listing will normally tell what kind of car you need to reach the site.

 

I recommend you start with caches that have lower rating for both difficulty and terrain. Look at the (D/T) column next to the cache page and make your pick. Riyadh airport (GCRZR4) & The Lawrence- Riyadh 5* Hotel (GCG2TR) qualify for such low ratings and are on the same route, so you can do in one easy trip to the north of Riyadh. .. Enjoy.

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Welcome to the game ..

 

To start geocaching all you need is the ability to read coordinates. Gps’s come in many forms and shapes .. some are standalone which range from the simplest & cheapest to the more exotic and fancy looking. Others are integrated with another device like ppc or mobile phone ..etc.

 

Coordinates alone will tell you the destination but maps will show you how to get there so they are a plus. Additionally, they can be a lot of joy to use.

 

If the cache is more than one kilometer away from where you’re located, which is the usual case, then you definitely need a car. Cache listing will normally tell what kind of car you need to reach the site.

 

I recommend you start with caches that have lower rating for both difficulty and terrain. Look at the (D/T) column next to the cache page and make your pick. Riyadh airport (GCRZR4) & The Lawrence- Riyadh 5* Hotel (GCG2TR) qualify for such low ratings and are on the same route, so you can do in one easy trip to the north of Riyadh. .. Enjoy.

 

:D

mhfares:

Recently arrived in the Kingdon, for two years of work in Jubail.

Today is first time to check in on caching. Am so thankful to find an active helper like you !!!

My GPS units won't be here until Late September so no hurry, but have a question.

I'm accustomed to the wonderful mapping software available back in states, from such as NG. Are there any software packages available for the Kingdom? I love to poke around, and have been unsettled by the lack of locally available road maps. Any help appreciated... camoguy

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:o hi! yesterday i got my first and second cache find. the lawrence and the riyadh airport as per your suggestion. the lawrence was indeed a good start-up for new geocachers like me.

 

we tried to get a third cache, the aftermath but made a mistake in the approach. we tried to use the tarmac road but at 1.5km near the cache, we were stopped by the quarry guard. another try anothey route again lead us to the quarry site. i think the only way was to go around the quarry by foot.

 

we will have to re-schedule the trip on an earlier time as it was almost noon and the heat was already unbearable.

 

with regards to the software and maps, right now i am using an ipaq 6515 loaded with tiny stocks navio and maps scanned. i found this software very easy to use. i have also megaliith tuner software as a back-up.

 

i am planning to get an etrex later for further security.

 

furtgher, i got destinator pn loader with 6 gulf countries including saudi arabia. i found it useful although some roads are not shown especially the new ones.

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Did you know you could use Google earth to monitor your track in real time while hitting the trail, even if you are not actually connected to the net. I read this in a post in mekshat, here is how:

 

Connect your GPSr to your laptop, start GPS TrackMaker and click on Garmin interface and then click on PVT data for real time navigation. Start google earth from the new window that will pop up. A red circle will appear in google earth that shows your location as you move around.

 

This will prove to be particularly useful for those who do not have maps on their GPS units but even those with maps will find it interesting as well.

 

Say you want to visit edge of the world. Before hitting the trail, bring up Google earth on your laptop and zoom in on the area you plan to visit, say Acacia valley. This way you don’t need any internet connection later when traveling on the trail.

Take your laptop with you and go caching. When you arrive at the start of your wadi, connect your GPS to your laptop and do the above. I use GPS TrackMaker but there are other programs that do the interfacing with google earth.

 

Thanks to the folks (Majellan and Mostekshef) at Mekshat for their insightful posts. Here is their post with pics.

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