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Free satellite imagery is getting better and even more useful lately. I use the basic Google Earth Pro for scouting, like today I was planning some single track riding to intimidate Boarder255 this coming weekend like this ridgeline trail above camp. Resolution is usually good enough to indicate single tracks and I can often select likely camp sites that are level with good views, timelines for moonrises and sunsets, etc. in places I have never visited before.

View attachment 182518

Or another I haven't been on in years, hopefully still legal up to the PCT/Tahoe Rim Trail intersection. This one is fairly easy, gets one up to good view commanding ridgeline.
Tahoe Rim.jpg

What is interesting and seemingly new is "Street view" actual photography being now available for some backcountry trails. Unfortunately here the imagery was taken in winter on top of deep snow pack and thus of little practical use. Of note though is that coverage is not limited to paved public roads anymore.
 

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A good pre-ride scouting tool for sure. :)
I've been using the basic google maps switching between the terrain and satellite views for scouting areas. Look for a road that goes up to somewhere that might be interesting in terrain mode so you can see the topography easy and such, then switch to sat view to see if it actually looks interesting, viewpoints, etc.
 

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So Fred my daughter on Catalina carried a google backpack camera to record all of the Trans Catalina trail. So yeah it’s not just roads anymore.

Free satellite imagery is getting better and even more useful lately. I use the basic Google Earth Pro for scouting, like today I was planning some single track riding to intimidate Boarder255 this coming weekend like this ridgeline trail above camp. Resolution is usually good enough to indicate single tracks and I can often select likely camp sites that are level with good views, timelines for moonrises and sunsets, etc. in places I have never visited before.

View attachment 182518

Or another I haven't been on in years, hopefully still legal up to the PCT/Tahoe Rim Trail intersection. This one is fairly easy, gets one up to good view commanding ridgeline.
View attachment 182520

What is interesting and seemingly new is "Street view" actual photography being now available for some backcountry trails. Unfortunately here the imagery was taken in winter on top of deep snow pack and thus of little practical use. Of note though is that coverage is not limited to paved public roads anymore.
 

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Ken great idea! Fred with a google backpack camera! maybe they will buy his TDub videos too bad they don’t have embedded GPS info.
 

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I used to use Google Earth (GE) a bunch when they had the old hosted photos. A lot of places of interest had photos taken and one could use the photos as well as the satellite view. GE changed their photo system and photos are slowly coming back. I used to post photos in the old photo host system GE used but I can't figure it out now. These photos would be the ones everyone could see not just me when I was logged in. If anyone knows how to post photos to GE Pro I'd like directions. Conducting a Google and YouTube searches do not net results for the newer posting method.

For recon, I use anything and everthing available; Google Earth, Topo Maps of all sorts. I even used GAIA GPS map layers. So much to list which I use.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Actually my Contour has imbedded GPS info, just need to build video using their proprietary software and others have to use same software in order to view it.
Wish I could disable feature as GPS seems to be always on and thus an auto-drain battery feature that exhausts battery if left unattended.
Plus what is really annoying is that it gives audio prompts each time it loses, or re-gains GPS signals so it tends to beep at me with same prompts as "Camera ON" and "Camera OFF" as I ride. There are times I really want or need both hands on the handlebars and do not wish to reach up to confirm the camera status.
 

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And you can see all the junk behind JJs shed. Lol. How much do you want for that boat JJ? :)

Of course I’m no better...you can see all my junk on the farm. :p
 

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Google earth is awesome. I've been using it to find forgotten roads/trails where the entrance is grown in. Sometimes it's just a line in the trees that doesn't look natural. Other times you have to look at older images before the canopy grew over. We've found remote sandy beaches on lakes and camped with no one in sight for the weekend. On one old road we even found an abandoned aluminum boat trailer. I just wish it was updated more often. My area hasn't been updated in 3 years.
 

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And you can see all the junk behind JJs shed. Lol. How much do you want for that boat JJ? :)
It's priceless... and YES I AM WORKING ON IT! STALKER!!!

ssMinnow.JPG
 

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I use Google Earth all the time to scout areas to explore and ride. Here’s an example of one of my favorite areas. The pin drop is the trail head which I copy and save in a Note file (Google Earth Saved Locations) as a link.

https://earth.app.goo.gl/?link=https://earth.google.com/web/@39.629844,-76.30968279,89.72789839a,15041.36899794d,35y,0h,45.03700198t,0r/data=Ci8aLRIlGU8QRBEd0ENAIXKsk-jcE1PAKhEzOS42MjU5LCAtNzYuMzEwNBgCIAEoAw&apn=com.google.earth&isi=293622097&ibi=com.google.b612&ius=googleearth&cid=8581938421405437166&_osl=https://earth.app.goo.gl/W6RJDU&_icp=1

JJ you have a couple girls cleaning up behind your shed. ;)

792CC5DC-590A-44F8-B665-2BEA0C8F4753.png
 

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I use Google Earth all the time to scout areas to explore and ride. Here’s an example of one of my favorite areas. The pin drop is the trail head which I copy and save in a Note file (Google Earth Saved Locations) as a link.

https://earth.app.goo.gl/?link=https://earth.google.com/web/@39.629844,-76.30968279,89.72789839a,15041.36899794d,35y,0h,45.03700198t,0r/data=Ci8aLRIlGU8QRBEd0ENAIXKsk-jcE1PAKhEzOS42MjU5LCAtNzYuMzEwNBgCIAEoAw&apn=com.google.earth&isi=293622097&ibi=com.google.b612&ius=googleearth&cid=8581938421405437166&_osl=https://earth.app.goo.gl/W6RJDU&_icp=1

JJ you have a couple girls cleaning up behind your shed. ;)

View attachment 182590
These are a bunch of pin drops for places I have or want to try and find. I also transfer these to use in my offline GAIA GPS Map of an area but the homework was mainly done in GE.

 

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7B1615B0-0FFC-4DCD-9355-3CEFE6EFEF2E.jpeg

1D44E818-60A6-4961-9365-CE46076B593B.jpeg




Here two screeen shots of GMaps for or my saves.

The first one SD county and the second one CA, Az and Utah.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You folks obviously have some more riding and exploring to be done. First one to visit all their pin drops wins the booby prize!
 

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Most of these pins we rode although I was scouting some areas that were on one of the reservations so no access. Maybe 20% couldn’t ride and 20% haven’t done a lot we did.
 
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