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Not sure if anyone has done this, but I see a lot of posts about people taking several readings over several days to pinpoint the coords of the cache they are placing, but then sometimes they are still extremely off. I placed a cache recently (my first one, and yes I don't have even close to 100 finds) and I used google earth to get pretty much dead-on coordinates. I did of course verify with a few readings of my own since I wasn't sureif google earth's were even correct.


Also, my very first cache that I couldn't find I tried several times with my iPhone and it always placed me in odd areas. When I finally compared the listed coords to google earth, it pretty much put me on top of where the cache was hidden.


Finally, my infamous puzzle cache I asked for help on lately, when I was just trying to "guess" the right answer, google earth was indispensable in comparing coords I got with where it would put me and whether or not it seemed like a feasible location for the cache.


So, to sum up, google earth seems indispensable to me for geocaching. I just wish I could take it with me instead of using it only at home :unsure: Of course, that would probably take up my whole memory allotment on my iPhone....Maybe this is a good excuse to get an iPad :)

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I just tried google earth for the first time last night. I was very dissapointed. I have now uninstalled it. I will be using maps..google.com.


Anyway. Things to remember about google maps (and google earth). Often it is super acuriate. Other times it can be off by as much as (in my experience) 70m.


I have heard that the iPhone is very inconsistent and should not be used to hide caches. If that is your only GPSr, I have heard, you should borrow someone elses to do the hide coordinates.


When doing waypoint averaging, if done properly, the coordinates will not be 'extremely off'. If the points you are using in the average are all very dispersed, you need a better GPSr; the average is only good if your standard diviation is reasonable. (not suggesting you actualy calculate the standard diviation, but you should eyeball it)


Edit to add: Doesn't the iPhone have a google maps app? Windows Mobile does, BlackBerry does, I am prety sure that Android does. iPhone must.

Edited by Andronicus
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It does. I never looked into if I could enter coordinates though. That's definitely something good to check into. The only reason I hid this cache was because it was a relatively easy hide that brings you to a nice urban area and isn't a micro :) However, I am doing a TON of research trying to find another location. Being in the New Orleans area, there isn't much public land available and the place is riddled with park & grabs. I want caches that help you find unique jewels. I'm researching a cajun village right now. As for the iPhone coords, I do agree they can be quite off, but as far as finding goes, I have some tricks figured out to help now. I definately will be getting a real GPS soon, mainly for the reason that my iPhone battery dies to quick, and I can't really just carry a spare.


Thank you for the info though. So far google earth seems to be pretty dead on, but now I know not to take it for gospel.

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I once found a cache that had eluded me by putting the coordinates in Google Maps and printing out a screenshot of the Street View picture. I'm not sure if that's really considered "cheating", but I ended up far closer this way than I ended up using my GPS. The photo was dead on, and though I still had to look around at that spot, it didn't take more than 2 minutes that time.

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Google Earth is helpful for getting rough coordinates of an area before you go out there, but it should never be the main source for your coordinates. For various reasons, the accuracy of GE's coordinates varies wildly between "reasonably accurate" and "laughable."

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I just tested 7 of my caches that I knew exactly where they are by looking at aerial imagery. Only one would have been close enough you may have been able to find it by using Google Earth. All the others were pointing west by various amounts. Some were far enough off that you didn't stand a chance of finding the cache this way.


So in my area I would say this wounldn't be a good alternative or helper.


There is a cool cache ? Google Earth X Marks the Spot in the area that uses Google Earth. It worked when I tried it. I was 12m off the mark though.

Edited by 42at42
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On my hides (granted, not that many yet) I always cross-reference between my GPSr readings and Google Earth. So far, all have been very accurate.

What I wish Google Earth/Maps would do is to update the actual maps more frequently. I often try to find a street only to find that the map still shows a big open field. Some of the map segments date back to 2006.

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I love Google Earth! I use it when I place caches as one of my double checking tools. I take several readings at the cache while I'm there placing it, and then plug the coords I took into Google Earth and look at the location to see if it matches where I put it, and then repeat these steps.

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Finally, my infamous puzzle cache I asked for help on lately, when I was just trying to "guess" the right answer, google earth was indispensable in comparing coords I got with where it would put me and whether or not it seemed like a feasible location for the cache.


I've used it for that as well. On one puzzle cache I solved got a solution that looked like a promising location for the final coordinates and was able to use high-res satellite views of the area (from another online mapping application). I was able to confirm the location because both the satellite photo and the photo attached to a log on the cache showed a wall with the same graffiti on it.


BTW, I got to play with an iPad for about two weeks and used the Google Earth app on it quite a bit. It works really nice.

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I use Google Earth to reference sites, but also to get oblique projections of the area, terrain, access routes, etc.


Here's an example:


N44 58' 02.75 W121 01' 36.01


I've actually been here. Takes a 4WD and some navigation skills. I'm thinking about a cache. I can't imagine being able to get to this spot without Google Earth.

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