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Right now we don’t we a simple ruler tool in the app. But what you can do is drop a waypoint by touching the Flag button and select either “Drop a Waypoint” or “Drop a Waypoint near Me”.  Then when done, select “Save & Guide” and when you do, the bottom panel will display the heading and distance.You can also, select “Create Route” and then lightly press your finger on the screen to create your waypoints and the distance between the two will show up on the bottom panel.


We get asked this question quite a bit and its a tough question to answer by “area” because the size of the area you can download at any one time is determined by the zoom level of the charts. The more detail, the more information, the more storage it takes, therefore the less area you can manageably download and any given time.

Bottom line though, is you can now download an immense amount of chart data at one time (100,000 tiles) and you can download as many areas as you like.

Our recommendation is to download a large, medium level zoom of the entire region of the area you’re boating, and then download as many high-detail regions (typically close to shore, or inlets) as you need / like. You can mix and match as much you like as again, there are not any limitations to how often or how many regions you download (save the storage space on your iPad) – just how much you can download at any one time.
One other idea is to create a Route, and then going back to that Route (once its saved) and select “Download Maps for the Track”. Yes, we know, the language doesn’t make too much sense, but what this does is download all of the charts for your specific route at a fairly close zoom level. This is super easy to do once you get the initial hang of it.
We hope this helps…

Follow these steps to get your Mac set up to use the EarthNC USGlobalsat BU-353 in Google Earth:

1. Download the Mac BU-353 Drive from USGlobalSat

2. Open the file, this will create a mac_os_universal_binary_driver folder on your desktop

3. Open the mac_os_universal_binary_driver folder and click twice on PL2303_1.2.1.dmg to mount the driver installation


4. Open the PL2303 Driver virtual drive mounted in step 3 and run the PL2303_1.2.1.pgk file it contains. This will open a standard Mac install program and step you through the GPS driver install.

5. Connect the BU-353 USB GPS to your Mac

6. Download gpsdX

7. Open gpdsX.dmg.gz which will create a gpdsX.dmg file on your desktop. Click on this file to mount the install virtual dirve gpsdX. Open this drive and run the gpsdX Install package.


8. Download gps2geX

9. Double click on the gps2geX.tgz file to extract the gps2geX program to your desktop.

To Configure and Use gps2geX:
1. Ensure your BU-353 is plugged into your compter
2. Open the gpsdX Configuration utility in Go – Applications
3. Select dev/tty.usbserial from the drop down list and click on the ‘Select and Start’ button
4. Click on gps2geX on your desktop to run gps2gex
5. Click on ‘Start gps2ge’ after which you should see location text in the status window
6. Click on ‘open KML file’ which will start Google Earth if needed and add a GPS Link into your Temporary Places menu
7. Click on the checkbox beside ‘GPS Link’ in the Google Earth temporary places menu to display your position
8. You can adjust the icon, track color, and follow altitude in the ‘Settings’ menu of gps2geX

cvwr.jpgView any chart in seconds with the new EarthNC Online Chart Viewer!
Combining the power of Google Maps, EarthNC data, and NOAA Raster and Vector charts, the EarthNC chart viewer provides ready access to important boating information. You can view charts in a ‘seamless’ mode or select a specific NOAA chart number for a given area.

When using a supported browser (Firefox 3.5, Safari, Chrome), the EarthNC Chart Viewer will request permission to estimate your location to initialize the map view. Changing locations is a simple matter of panning the map or using the built-in map search tool to jump to a different city or zipcode. Map search can also be used to find nearby businesses, restaurants, hotels, or other features.

Try the EarthNC Chart Viewer

Bookmark and share your favorite spots by creating custom ‘Map Links’ or choose the ‘Embed Map’ option to get code to paste the Chart Viewer into your own website or blog.

More than just charts, the EarthNC Chart Viewer includes ‘Nearby’ and ‘Routing’ tools. The Nearby menu will show NOAA Weather Buoy, FAA Airport Weather, Marine Forecasts, and 3 day Tide Predictions near any map location. The Routing tool lets you draw a custom route on top of the map and save it to GPX, Google Earth KML, or PDF format for later use.

We’ll be releasing new features for the chart viewer in the future including a dedicated Mobile version for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, and other operating systems.

clampedToSeaFloor_1.jpgThe new Google Ocean capability in Google Earth 5.0 now provides the ability to ‘clamp’ overlays and features to the sea floor for 3D effect.  To start testing this capability, we’ve rendered one of our Hawaii NOAA raster charts in the new format as shown in the image at left.

You can try it out yourself by opening our Island of Hawaii Chart in Google Earth 5.0.  If you need to upgrade or download Google Earth, you can get it at

To see the 3D ocean floor, you have to zoom ‘below’ the water’s surface or even better, turn of the ‘Water Surface’ in the view menu.  We’re currently working to update our EarthNC Raster DVD‘s to allow the ‘Clamped to Sea Floor’ option.

For more Ocean layers, please try our EarthNC Online and EarthNC Lite charting layers for Google Earth.

sarasotapra.jpgAs more boaters take EarthNC out on their boats, we’ve noted an increasing interest in ‘live tracking’ of recreational boating trips for friends and family. EarthNC has been building a simple system to support real-time tracking based on Google Earth and various low-cost and free components. Read on to learn more about our Google Earth tracking project and be sure to check out our recent featured trips – Captain Bill’s Michigan to Florida Cruise and EarthNC’s Sarasota Poker Run. For a more technical discussion of the EarthNC tracker, read our Sarasota Poker Run Tracking Case Study.

EarthNC Track Server Features
The goals for our tracking system are simple –

  • Support multiple operating systems and GPS software options for Google Earth
  • Have a webcam option
  • Generate Google Earth and Google Maps compatible Map Output for sharing

End User Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Mobile computer that can run Google Earth
  • Google Earth
  • GPS to Google Earth software which supports active ‘following’ of the user position in Google Earth such as GooPs Pro for PC, Google Earth Plus, or gps2geX for Mac
  • Air Card or other suitable wireless internet connection
  • USB Webcam if photo capability is desired

Putting It All Together in Practice
From the end-user perspective, if you’re already using Google Earth with live GPS and have a cell air card – sharing your position via EarthNC is as simple as opening an EarthNC Tracking network link in Google Earth coded to a unique user ID. This link transmits the Google Earth view center to the EarthNC server whenever the link refreshes – usually every 30-60 seconds. With your Tracking network link, you also receive unique links to share with friends and family that display your most recent position in Google Earth and Google Maps. These can easily be embedded into a blog or website using our TakItWithMe Embedded Map generators for Google Maps and the Google Earth API.

To share webcam photos while tracking, EarthNC can set up an individual FTP account for photo upload. Most webcam software, including free utilities such as YAWCAM, supports periodic image uploads to the web via FTP. As images are uploaded, the EarthNC server will determine the most recent image and add it to your tracking maps. In the future we plan to also offer a historical track option which will include all uploaded photos.

Contact Us if you’re interested in beta-testing our tracking solutions.

englishchannelais.jpgTrack English Channel commercial ship movements in Google Earth with EarthNC’s new English Channel Ship Tracking Automatic Identification System (AIS) feed. Our map updates every 5 minutes with the latest ship positions.

The EarthNC English Channel AIS Feed is provided by the English Channel Ship Movements Website run by Mike Fallon. The AIS antenna is located near Brighton on England’s south coast, overlooking one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. In normal radio conditions, ships are visible within 60nm of the antenna. During enhanced propagation reception is possible out to ~500nm.

Click HERE to open the English Channel AIS Ship Map in the Google Earth Client. Scroll down for our new embedded 3D View.

EarthNC is pleased to provide an easy way to add our unique 3D charting to any boating website or blog via the new Google Earth Browser Plugin. The Widget can be configured to automatically center and zoom in the region of your choice and comes pre-configured with the EarthNC Online Nautical Charts, EarthNC User Submitted Content Layer, NOAA Marine Forecast Layer, Tide Prediction Layer, and animated National Weather Radar as shown below. If you’d like to customize the layer content, add you own, or ‘rebrand’ the layers to your website, we can also customize the widget.

To request information on how to add the 3D Chart Widget to your website, please send us a message via our Online Contact Form.

The Google Earth browser plugin is currently limited to Windows XP/Vista operating systems, but full Mac and Linux versions are expected in the August timeframe from Google.

You can also try our free online content in the full Google Earth client at our EarthNC Online page.

embedtool.jpgLive from the Google I/O Developers Conference!
EarthNC is excited to announce our TakItWithMe Embedded Google Earth map creation tool. Our new tool allows anyone with a website or blog to quickly create their own embedded maps using the new Google Earth Browser Plugin announced this morning. While currently limited to Windows support, a Mac/Linux version is in the works. For an example an embedded map, we’ve added one to our recent Florida Boating Ramps Map page.

Create Your Own Custom Map in a Simple Steps

Browse to the Google Earth Embedded Map Tool

  1. Paste in a Google Earth KML link or Google Maps MyMap link if you’d like to include an overlay
  2. Click on the ‘Load Preview’ button. If you did not provide a KML link, you will get a warning before you continue
  3. Use the Map Navigation Controls or your mouse to set the Google Earth viewpoint you’d like to be the default for your map
  4. Click on the ‘Set Center and Zoom’ Button
  5. Click on the ‘Generate Embed Code’
  6. Copy the resulting code and paste it into your webpage or blog where’d you’d like the map to appear
  7. To create another map, simply refresh the page and start again


Given the short lifetime of the Google Earth Plugin (announced at 9am PDT this morning) and the TakItWithMe Beta (completed roughly 4 hours later), there are a few features that remain to be built.

  • The Google Earth plugin is currently only supported on Windows in IE and FireFox. Google has stated they are working on the Mac/Linux versions
  • The TakItWithMe embedded map is set to a roughly 500 pixel by 500 pixel size which is compatible with most blog formats. We will be adding an ability to customize the size of the map in the future.

Welcome to the EarthNC Trip and Route Tool User Guide

The Trip and Route Tool (TRT) lets you create trip and route plans in Google Earth and easily export them to GPX file format for use with stand-alone GPS devices. In the case of Garmin USB GPS units, you can send your trips and routes directly to the GPS using the EarthNC TRT through use of the Garmin Communicator API.

While the EarthNC TRT is designed for use with EarthNC Plus, EarthNC Raster, and EarthNC Online marine charts, the Trip and Route Tool can be used for any type of Google Earth planning.

Download the Trip and Route Tool Google Earth File

Save the EarthNC Trip and Route Tool Google Earth File (click HERE) to your computer and open it in Google Earth to get started.

For best results, make sure you have the latest version of Google Earth. You can download updates HERE.

Watch our Video Tutorial
With the TRT Google Earth file open, you’re ready to watch our video tutorial which goes over the basic process of creating your trips in Google Earth and exporting them to GPS.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Open the EarthNC Trip and Route Tool Google Earth File (TRT)
  2. Create a Folder for a New Trip in the TRT using Add->Folder
  3. Populate this folder with Placemarks (points), Paths (routes), and Polygons using Google Earth’s built-in tools. You can also right-click->copy Placemarks from EarthNC or other overlays and right-click->paste these into your trip folder
  4. When ready to export, open the EarthNC GPS Export Interface using the link provided in the EarthNC TRT Main Folder in the Places window. The direct link to the GPS Export Interface is
  5. Copy your Trip Folder (not the entire TRT folder) by right-clicking on your Trip Folder and selecting Copy.
  6. Paste the contents of the trip folder into the Text Field in the GPS Export Tool by using right-click->Paste
  7. Click on ‘Convert Trip to GPX’
  8. After a few seconds, buttons for ‘Send to Garmin’ and ‘Download GPX’ will appear.
  9. To send to Garmin, connect your Garmin GPS via it’s USB cable and power it on, then click on the ‘Send to Garmin’ link. For GPX download, click on the ‘Download GPX’ button and save the file to your hard drive. Refer to the instructions which came with your GPS device and software to import this file to your device.
  10. If you edit your trip in Google Earth, don’t forget to recopy, paste, and then reconvert/download your changes to update your GPS

Tips and Advanced Usage

  • The GPS Export Interface is optimized for the Internal Google Earth Browser for Windows. To enable the internal browser, go to the Google Earth Tools->Options->General and uncheck ‘Show Results in External Browser’ in the upper right.
  • You can modify export settings by clicking on ‘Options’ in the upper right of the GPS Export Interface.
  • Remember that Routes are generally limited to 256 ‘legs’ or turn points in Garmin Devices. For long trips, you can create multiple routes to avoid this limitation. You can also exports routes as tracks using the ‘Options’ settings.
  • Tracks may contain up to 10,000 points. Track can be displayed on the map, but generally can’t be activated for navigation.

Additional Help
Please use our Contact Form if you have additional questions or feature requests.

Recommended GPS Units
The Garmin Communicator Plugin works with most, if not all of the Garmin USB GPS devices produced over the last few years. To shop for Garmin Products at reasonable prices, we recommend starting at

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