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How accurate are the Yahoo/Google maps listed?


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We are brand new to geocaching and are going to need a GPS it looks like. Our Mio C310 for the car is just not cutting it--it wants to stay on roads! So while we are shopping for a GPS can you tell me....are the Yahoo! and Google maps listed with the cache sites accurate? So if we were to print the maps from this website and try to find a cache using them, would they be helpful?



Laurie :)

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Well I'd assume the coordinates provided to plot that waypoint on Google Maps utilize the exact set of coords on each cache page, though I have not individially confirmed that. I use Google Maps to look into a cache I seem to have difficulty finding a cache to try and zero in a little better. So I would say yes, it is doable, just not preferred :).

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I'm just getting into this myself and have only found 8 caches so far. But, it seems that the Google Maps display is spot on based on the coordinates provided. The Google Earth KML file though is an approximation of the location, not exact.


Having been to a cache location, following only my GPS, then comparing that location to the location marked on the Google Maps, they were MAYBE less than 2 or 3 meters apart. So though it may be an approximation, it is fairly accurate.

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I was using a car GPS for a few days... needed to know where North was in order to get any success. Most units have a screen that will show coordinates. On Tomtom it's the 'help, where am i?' function, and on my Magellan Maestro it's in the AAA screen. A handheld is better for caching, but it can be done without. Even with the Venture HC, I still have to look around, no GPSr will bring it to your feet. Having looked at GoogleMaps, the area is at least right, but in the Northeast the images are not very good. Other parts of the US have newer images...

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All maps have some margin of error. Sometimes they are highly accurate and near spot on. Sometimes they are 100 or more feet off. The published accuracy of many maps is no better than 50 feet (more or less) at well known intersections. Some are published with 98 foot and some with as much as 200 foot accuracy.


My personal experience has shown some caches to be spot on to both map and arial photo. However - just 4 miles away, the map is off by about 50 foot and the photo by about 150 foot. Use the maps with this in mind.

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