Google Earth Can Travel The Earth

I'd like to think I know my geography pretty well. I know El Paso, Texas is closer to Los Angeles, CA that it is Orange, Texas.  I know that it takes over 9 hours to fly to Paris, France and just over 5 hours to drive to Paris, Texas. So, when I fly over the Earth, it bothers me that I don't know exactly where I am or what I'm looking at when I look out the window. 

In walks Google Earth.  I tried it before on the plane with my iPad, but without connectivity, the iPad wouldn't show me anything.  It wasn't until today before I found the secret to traveling with Google Earth. The answer is that one needs to understand caching on their computers.

Geocaching is a fun hobby where one goes out to find temporarily stored bits of treasure. (It's a pretty fun Saturday activity!)  A web cache is also a hidden storage, but inside your computer. The computer stores information that you have downloaded so that the next time you need that information again, it doesn't have to go download it again. It's already on the computer.

Google Earth uses a web cache to store maps and information so that your map-browsing experience can be a little faster. Managing that cache means you can use that stored information even when you are not connected to the internet.

If you are planning on using Google Earth away from the internet, plan ahead to capture the maps you need.  Simply open Google Earth and view the parts of the Earth that you wish to capture. Don't forget that zooming in gives you different maps that you may want to capture. Every time Google Earth focuses on the map, it is writing it to the cache and storing it for you.

On a laptop, Mac or pc, the cache for Google Earth can be increased to you can capture many more maps to use away from the internet.  The Google Earth Blog has more directions on how to do that.

The iPad is a bit different. It does use a cache *yea!* but you can't increase the size of the cache space *boo!*  Still, I browsed the path of my next flight, and at different altitudes, and then turned off the wifi. Google Earth displayed all the maps a viewed.

So on your next travel adventure, pre-view your trek with Google Earth and then take the maps with you.
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