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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Google has just made a free version of Google Earth 5.0 available. I see it is labeled "beta". This version allows all users w/ either Garmin or Magellan GPS units to upload tracks, waypoints, and routes to the Google Earth image. This is a great feature which was heretofore only available on Google Earth Plus (was $20/yr, but is now discontinued.)

Go to http://earth.google.com/ to download the latest version.

One very good, new feature is in the Ruler tool. This tool has been great for getting distances. The tool now shows the bearing for a particular distance line.

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Thanks for the heads-up, Keith.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Same from me mate. What a great tool and program! Brings the World into my home and I use it all the time when you guys out there give out positions etc. Do you use it to program in waypoints into your GPS using Latitude and Longitude Keith?..Pirate


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:32 am 
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Location: South Florida
Pirate,

Google Earth is great for uploading your GPS data (tracks, wpts, routes), but, at this point it is too cumbersome to manually input more than a few wpts into your gps. Manually inputting wpts into your GPS is a tough slog.

Here in the states, we are lucky to have National Geographic's TOPO! software: http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/jump.jsp?itemID=247&itemType=CATEGORY&KickerID=1003194&KICKER
National Geographic has the best digital maps, but, apparently they are limited to the US.

Using digital maps w/ TOPO!, you simply use your mouse to put in wpts on the digital maps. These are then easily assembled into routes. The wpts and routes can then be effortlessly downloaded onto your GPS.

There is other software for digital navigation. Fugawi software is one that has potential to use in conjunction w/ Google Earth. You can see a description of Fugawi software at http://www.landfallnavigation.com/efugq.html

In reading that Fugawi description, the key to users wanting to explore un-digitized areas, is near the bottom:
Customize and print maps
Open a supported map, or import your own scanned paper map and calibrate it. Add routes, waypoints, or tracks, or freehand draw on the map. Print a personalized paper copy at the scale of your choice.


Google Earth immediately makes that description dated. You don't have to scan it in, simply get a .jpg image from Google Earth. Fugawa software allows you to calibrate that image using 3 wpts (obtained from Google Earth). Eureka! You have generated your own digital map to use to lay out wpts and routes within the Fugawi software. These can than be downloaded onto your GPS. (Note, you cannot download the maps, but you can download the wpts and routes.)

Hopefully, others reading this can chime in with their own experience getting wpts and route info into their GPS units w/ a minimum of grief. "grief" = manually inputting wpts.

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:32 pm
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Location: Pearland TX Kayak: Hobie Outback
Thanks for the info. I use Goggle Earth and a program called GPS Utility I have a garmin GPSMAP 76 it all works good. Today after work I am going to check out the links you provided. Thanks again.
Brazos

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