Uses Random Approximate Coordinates in Google Earth

On 22 October I wrote about supporting Google Earth as a powerful way to search Geocaches. At the time I had no official announcement from the company. Here’s a link to the announcement, which provides some additional details on their Google Earth suport.
The most interesting thing about this announcement is this: “…the coordinates used in Google Earth are only an approximation and can be up to 100 ft from the actual location. Do not use the coordinates in Google Earth for cache hunting” Apparently, Google Earth is so accurate in showing cache locations they felt it would take away some of the fun if the placemark showed the real coordinates. If you select “View Cache Details” from the placemark and then “edit” the placemark, select “advanced”, select “Location” and compare the coordinates they will be different. Now, given that GPS’s are already off by anywhere from 5-75 feet, the actual error in location may be even bigger. You could just enter the real coordinates from the web page if you don’t like this feature. But, its interesting they chose this approach. Or, could it be that was concerned someone would start saving the Google Earth network link placemarks and create their own database of the geocache coordinates?
The announcment also…

The announcement also contained two other features: Geocaching .com is offering GE files for Bookmark lists and for showing where a Travel Bug has travelled (read the site if you don’t know what these are). I’m glad is taking advantage of GE to provide their customers with useful visualization tools. Geocaching and Google Earth are ideally suited for one another.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. When I read the first post about’s association with GE I wondered if it would take some fun out of the search. I for one, would use GE to locate caches from a “safe distance” that wouldn’t give too much away about the location (i.e. – distinct features or landmarks). I can also see kids using GE with their siblings or parents to view where they visited in the real world. I can see creating a portfolio of cache finds on GE using placemarks and log entries. Love the blog, thanks for putting it together.

Leave a Reply