Searching for gold in Google Earth

If you ever like to pan for gold, a new tool might be able to help you out. Using a U.S. Department of Interior database, Gold Maps Online has created a variety of KML files to help highlight areas where gold is currently being found.


From their site:

This map can be viewed as a near real-time look at America’s active gold deposits. It’s near real-time because gold mining claim holders are required to pay annual fees to maintain ownership. They wouldn’t do that if they weren’t finding gold on the property. This is a map of where prospectors are finding gold in 2010.

The maps aren’t free, but you have a few good options. You can try a free sample map to see what it looks like. If you’d like another state, simply contact them and mention GEB and they’ll give it to you for free!
These maps are quite well done and could be rather valuable if you happen to be planning a search for gold.

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.


  1. Hey, This is some great information. I like to hunt for gold with my gold suckr/hand dredge. I like to work cracks in the bedrock. I will be checking into this with google earth.
    Thanks for the great post!!

  2. Here’s a useful comment I found on a gold prospecting forum about these gold maps:
    “The status of claims (active or inactive) can change in a day’s time. Unless they are going to put out a brand new map every day and send it to you for one price, you are wasting your money.
    Wherever you go, go to the BLM office. And, just so you know – GeoCommunicator is often wrong, also, because it is not updated every day.
    You need to know where you are going (claimed and unclaimed) ON THE DAY you go there. And, also, just because something is unclaimed, doesn’t mean its clear for you to go on. You also have to make sure the area has not had restrictions put on it, like mineral withdrawals, or whatever.”

  3. Wow, that’s a great tool for gold hunt. Till now, these gold planning maps reveal 378,890 active gold claims and 181,134 abandoned gold claims. All are located on public lands spread across twelve western states. I guess the best way to see where gold is being found is to look at a map of active gold mine claims.

  4. Great review, you may also be interested in another set of gold map data that can be used. USGS records of gold mines and previous placer gold discoveries are available. These go beyond the dept of interior gold claim data mentioned. I have some more info on this method at the Hunting4Gold site.

  5. I like to search for gold in sudan ( red sea hills) can you help I want that with google earth

  6. gasim,
    this tool is only useful for US gold claims. I don’t think there’s anything like this available for red sea hills gold claims.

  7. This is so exciting! I can’t believe I have never heard of this before. This should help me heaps when I finally buy the Garrett ATX.

  8. I find this information interesting. I am from Philippines in Mindanao. Do you have gold map data here?

  9. I’m interested too and I live in Papua New Guinea. Its in the Pacific and during the world war II, is there any gold left behind. Can you create a maps for Popondetta Town. It is a beatle field in 1942.

  10. so amazing i hope have a philippine map also god blees amirica

  11. juniebert says:

    i love this if have map here in the philippines

  12. Wow, technology is fascinating. there’s so much opportunity these days. I’m right there with you, John. As soon as I get my gold detector, I’m totally using this tech.

  13. hi my friend in my countery i find some photos take in satlight map
    it is totel looking red. i want show photo and help me what is that

  14. Hi, Please help me find gold for training
    thank you very much

  15. hey sir good day, I found lot of Japanese treasure sign in our backyard while I,m digging about 3 feet. can someone help me for those who are a treasure hunter’s? please message me. thank you

  16. Sir good day ,ifound lot of japanase treasure sign in our may area her in mindanao can someone to help me .thanks to help me to

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