Jan 17

What Others are Saying about EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth

Things are a bit slow at DestinSharks this week while we attend the MIT Sponsored ‘Mashup Camp’. Mashup camp brings together a diverse set of today’s best ‘Web 2.0′ developers to share ideas on how to build better websites and services. It also includes a onsite mashup competition in which we’re frantically completing prior to Thursday’s deadline.

While we’re a bit occupied, we thought we’d point out some of the great reviews others have written recently about their experiences with the EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth. If you haven’t tried these yourself yet, please read our latest update announcement and register for the free beta.

EarthNC Reviews Continue reading

Jan 11

Google Earth Version 4 Formally Released Yesterday

It’s official, Google Earth Version 4 is no longer a beta. Frank, at gearthblog.com has a good overview of the new features and had updated his Google Earth tutorials for the new release. If you’re still using Version 3 – it’s way past time to upgrade and see what you’ve been missing.

Use the button below to get the current version of Google Earth: Continue reading

Jan 09

Happy New Year! – Big EarthNC Marine Chart Upload this Morning

mackinacStart 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.

Coming Soon!

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.

Jan 05

Using Google Earth with a GPS – Real-time Position and Tracking Software Review

Screen Shot of GooPs in ActionWe’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

Jan 05

Low-Cost GPS Options for Google Earth and Laptop PC’s

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

Dec 26

Merry Christmas! – Now over 350 Marine Charts for Google Earth in the EarthNC Beta

dsi.pngComplete 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.

Continue reading

Dec 24

Express Cruiser Basics – Planing Out a Large Power-Boat with Trim Tabs

Port Planing ViewPlaning out a large cruiser isn’t difficult, but a little attention to technique will go a long way towards understanding how to best plane your boat under different loading conditions. We’ve put together a short video to illustrate the technique we use with our boat when loaded.

Our boat is a Regal 2760 28′ cruiser powered by twin 190HP Mercruiser engines and Bravo III outdrives. At 8500lbs dry, our weight can easily top 10,000lbs with passengers and gear – placing it in the middle of the express cruiser pack.

Continue reading

Dec 22

EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth – Now Offering over 200 Charts!

EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth - Approach to Mobile Bay Screen ShotMarine 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.

Continue reading

Dec 18

EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth – Join the Beta

EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth - Chart Index Screen ShotMarine 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

Dec 17

Winter Boating – a Short Trip Report from Destin

We’ve had a slow few months of boating with windy weather and holiday activities, but this weekend we got a respite from both. Calm winds since Thursday provided flat seas for a night in Destin Pass and morning cruising the gulf and bay. We didn’t have much luck with the fishing, but the scenery was unbeatable. With 5 adults, and 4 children aboard, we also set a new overnighting record for our Regal 2760 and achieved a top speed of 41.6mph on the GPS with a full load of water, fuel, and supplies.

Merry Christmas!