March 28, 2008

Google Earth, Part Deux

In a previous post, we talked about how to view geocache locations in Google Earth before you head out on your geocaching adventure. But the fun doesn't stop there. You can also use Google Earth to see where you've been after you get back from an exciting day of geocaching.

As you probably know, while you're busy navigating from cache to cache, your GPSr is doing more than just showing you the cache locations. It's also recording your tracks. And the beauty part is that you can load these tracks (and your waypoints) into Google Earth once you return home to see the exact path you took while out hunting caches.

There are a number of programs, like GPS Utility, and/or web sites, like GPS Visualizer, that will let you download your GPS track and waypoint data, and convert it to a Google Earth (KML) format. You can also import native GPSr file format (GPX) data directly into Google Earth.

Here's a sample of one of my recent bike ride/cache hunts as seen in Google Earth. You can adjust the line color and thickness to suit your needs:

You can also either download your waypoints (presumably, your cache sites) from your GPSr, or turn on the Geocaching Network KML layer we mentioned in a previous post to see all the geocaches you passed, and hopefully found, during your outing:

Google Earth is a great tool for planning your next hunt, and viewing the results of your last one.

Happy Cachin'!


Norm said...

Wow. That is really cool stuff! What will they think of next?

GeoJoe said...

The only thing Google Earth can't do (yet) is find the cache, trade some swag, and sign the log. But who knows; that may be next...