Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Use Google Earth and GPS To Find Your Destination

We were planning a visit to a relatives house, one to which we've been but I had forgotten exactly which road to turn on to get there. We would be taking our 5th-wheel trailer, as we'd be camping at their homestead.

The Find > Address answer in my GPS was ambiguous. I wanted solid confirmation that we would be going to the correct place. What to do?

Google Earth to the rescue! I opened Google Earth and quickly found the location. Then, I placemarked the location. (Add > Placemark) Once the placemark pin was inserted, I right clicked on the pin, went to Properties, and read off and wrote down the latitude and longitude.

The next step was to create a waypoint in my GPS by manually putting the latitude and longitude into the GPS.

When I arrived at the destination, a bit over 200 miles away, I drove up to the camping spot and stopped before backing the trailer into the spot they had prepared for us.

I glanced at the GPS data field: Distance to Destination: 3 feet!

The combination of Google Earth and GPS can be a provide a simple, yet very high-tech, way to find practically any spot on the face of the earth. Here are some things for which it may prove useful:

  • Find campground or RV park
  • Locate destination for a load of goods to be delivered
  • Find a business which you need to visit
  • Locate a relative's home
  • Find the location of a hall or hotel where you will be making a presentation.

Both Google Earth and GPS are amazingly accurate. In the situations described above, the major inaccuracy will be introduced by your setting of the Placemark. Accuracy of the GPS itself will probably be within a very few tens of feet.

Copyright 2007 Keith A. Williams

The author is mechanically and technically inclined and is a part-time RVer who enjoys more natural settings than commercial campgrounds.

This is his fifth EZine Article, most of which relate to RVing. One was about the "good deal" county parks provide. Although incomplete, you can see his county parks site here: http://countyparks.us

His first two RV-related article were "The Greatest Myth in RVing -- and What To Do About It" and "RV Awning Travel Lock -- Why Do I Need One?" These two commercially oriented sites relate to those subjects: http://awninglock.com and http://awninglock.info on which he offers a product in which he believes every RVer should have an interest.

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