Geocaching with Google Earth

We took our daughters (ages 5 and 8) on their first geocaching adventure this weekend and it was great! We used the very popular Geocaching.com website, which had quite a few Google Earth tools to make our adventure easier to plan.
In particular, they have a Geocache Google Earth Viewer that you can download and use. It’s essentially a network link that shows all of their geocache locations in Google Earth — over 1.6 million of them!

geocache.jpg

It was quite handy to fly around in Google Earth, find local caches, then click to see if they were worth checking out. We eventually stumbled upon a local “challenge” (10 locations to find, including this one) and had a good time.
While the icons are clickable, I would like to see them have a bit more info. In particular, the “last found” date would be helpful, so you could quickly see if a cache was likely to still be in place.
They also integrate Google Earth by allowing you to create “routes” that are generated by uploading KML files.
For all of you geocachers out there, what is your favorite way to search for new caches to find?

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. I like the C:GEO app on android phones. Sign in with your geocaching.com account and it will exclude caches you have found, gets your current location and starts off showing you the closest caches to you, and you can just use your phone to find most of the caches.

  2. I remember when I first saw a Google earth type of device. It was at the Maryland Science center. You could touch the screen and rotate the device to anywhere you want to go.
    I am sure your kids liked the geocaching adventure.

  3. Premium members of Geocaching.com ($30/year) can order up data in bulk called pocket queries. These GPX files contain additional data that GPSBabel and thus Google Earth knows how to specially format for display.
    GPSBabel 1.4.3 released this week, contains a completely new writer for geocaches. That’ll make it to Earth eventually but for now you can convert them to KML manually: just drop your PQ into GPSBabel and write to KML. Open that KML in Earth and caches will have three panes – the cache description, the logs, and additional maps.
    Signed,
    Geocacher of 10+ years – so I have a selfish reason for this to work well in Earth. :-)

  4. Google Earth 6.2 Released with Google+

  5. A second vote for c:geo. We use it exclusively on our Android phones.

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