While many of us dream of a circumnavigation, Frank and Karen Taylor are turning theirs into reality this summer. Frank, the author of the Google Earth Blog has been planning the trip since their last family adventure – a year-long Caribbean sail in their prior boat PatiCat.
Their new boat is a St Francis 50 Catamaran named ‘Tahina’ built in South Africa and equipped for blue-water sailing. Sarah and I had the pleasure to spend a few days with Frank and Karen on the boat during this spring’s Miami Boat Show and I’m sure boat will serve them well during their trip.
As an active advocate for Google Earth and Destin Sharks’ ‘EarthNC‘ line of Google Earth nautical content, Frank will be keeping an active multimedia blog of his trip at www.TahinaExpedition.com. He’s posted a rough draft of his circumnavigation plan below. We wish Frank and Karen the best as they start their journey and hope to meet up with them here-and-there during their trip.
Our partner website EarthNC.com has been scouring the web for user-generated Google My Maps of interest to boaters. They’ve started posting their finds in their ‘Featured Maps‘ section. Even better, with EarthNC’s new TakItWithMe My Maps Embedding Tool you can paste any My Map on your own website with easy links to Google Earth, a large map, and even download to GPS in some cases (see our example below). Continue reading
DestinSharks is pleased to announce the availability of ‘EarthNC Plus‘ – a compilation of 677 US marine charts on a single CD for use with Google Earth. Charts are derived from NOAA ENC and Army Corps IENC digital vector charts with significant enhancements for use with Google Earth’s powerful 3D mapping engine. EarthNC Plus is being offered at an introductory price of $49.95 which includes a 12 month chart update subscription.
Following direct sales at the Emerald Coast Boat Show this weekend, we will begin shipping EarthNC Plus orders via our new website at EarthNC.com.
Start off your New Year right with free EarthNC marine charts for Google Earth! This morning, we uploaded the complete set of ‘Approach’ charts for the lower 48 states, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico / Virgin Islands. This brings the EarthNC Beta chart total to 468 out of an eventual 650 to 700 NOAA and Army Corps charts.
Try out the Maps!
To try out the maps, please visit our new website at EarthNC.com. You’ll need Google Earth 4, an internet connection, and a willingness to provide feedback. If you’ve already downloaded the EarthNC index file, it should update coverage automatically next time you load it in Google Earth.
If you’re not sure if you want to register, you can try out the West Bay to Santa Rosa Sound Chart without registration – if you like what you see, join the forum for access to the rest. You’ll need Google Earth 4 to view it. Depending on your web browser, make sure that the file either opens in Google Earth or is saved as a .KMZ file and not a .ZIP file.
Next up is finishing the ‘Coastal’ detail charts for the lower 48 and then we will finish out with the remaining Alaska charts and the Inland ENC river charts. Once the full set is released in beta, we anticipate about a 2 week ‘refinement’ period based on user feedback and then the Version 1 release and chart DVD option.
We’re big fans of Google Earth here at DestinSharks.com and it is unsurpassed for arm-chair global exploration, but what about its use as a real-time mobile mapping solution? To use Google Earth in a mobile setting you need 4 things – a portable PC, Google Earth (preferably cached with imagery from the area of interest), a GPS which supports NMEA serial or USB output, and software which translates the GPS output into KML for Google Earth (or the latest release of Google Earth 4 Plus, Pro, or Enterprise). Read on as we review 4 ways turn Google Earth into a powerful moving map and find out which application might be best for you – at the end of the review we have a video showing each in action. If you’re looking for a good PC GPS, read our companion Garmin 18 review. Continue reading
In a companion article, we reviewed 4 software options for turning Google Earth into a powerful moving map application using realtime GPS tracking. If you don’t own a GPS with compatible serial or USB interfaces, Garmin has two low-cost options that work not only with Google Earth, but also with most other PC-based mapping programs. Continue reading
Complete Harbor Charts for the Lower 48!
Since announcing the public beta of our ‘EarthNC’ marine charts for Google Earth last week, we’ve been releasing additional charts as they exit our conversion process. Our largest release to date occurred yesterday with over 100 new charts posted. With this release, all NOAA ‘Harbor’ (level 5) charts are now available for the lower 48 states, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. We are working the level 5 charts for Alaska at present and then will shift work to convert the remaining Approach and Coastal Charts. Following this, we’ll finish the map set with the Army Corps Inland ENC (IENC) charts.
Marine Charts as You’ve Never Seen them Before!
Since announcing the public beta of our ‘EarthNC’ marine charts for Google Earth earlier this week, we’ve been hard at work. The beta now features over 200 charts for the US including complete ‘Overview’ and ‘General’ level charts for the Pacific, Alaska, West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and East Coast. Harbor charts now cover Florida, Hawaii, New York, Alabama, Louisiana, Washington State, California, the US Virgin Islands, Puero Rico, and more.
Marine Charts as You’ve Never Seen them Before!
Google Earth meets the sea with EarthNC™ Marine Charts exclusively from DestinSharks.com. We’ve been hard at work for over 6 months to provide an ‘Earth’ alternative for NOAA ENC® vector charts covering US coastal waters. Continue reading