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Captain Paul - GPS Info in Louisiana
Capt Paul

How accurate are GPS coordinates taken from Google Earth? If I use Google Earth on my computer to find a spot in Lake Pont. how close will the GPS coordinates put me to that spot? Someone told me that the government required a deviation that altered the accuracy.
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Response by Captain Paul
February 03 at 5:55pm
Google Accuracy
~ Captain Paul's response ~

Yes, No and Maybe.

I guess that covers it all. But seriously, they all could apply depending how you are using the settings in your GPS unit as compared to the Options in the Google Earth program.

Let me explain. My information is that Google Earth uses a EGM96 Geoid in displaying their Google Earth programs.

EGM96 (Earth Gravitational Model 1996) is a geopotential model of the Earth consists of coefficients complete to degree and order 360. Basically it is a model of the earth as devised in 1996 which allows the user to precisely place positions on the surface of the ellipsoid. This model is the result of a collaboration between the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and Ohio State University.

Very accurate positions can be placed on the Geoid with regards to vertical and horizontal locations. Some map makers use an ellipsoid model for their model. The Geoid model is usually more accurate for positions that are in elevations that are above the surface of the Geoid, whereas the Ellipsoid model is usually better used for relative flat areas near to sea level.

Either way, I believe that the Google Earth images are corrected to use WGS 84 datum. So if that is the datum that you use, simply enter the Google coordinates into your unit. Be sure to check the position format to be sure that they also agree. You can either change the Position Format ( Location) in your GPS unit or you can change the Google Earth display by going to the TOOLS/Options link at the top of the program and select what ever position format you normally use. Be sure that they agree.

So, if you are using your GPS unit in a relative flat area, such as Louisiana, or any sea level environment, I would assume that the figures are fairly accurate. However, if you are using the WAAS feature in your GPS unit in order to get the 3 meter accuracy via the differential system, your position via Google may only be to a position accuracy of 20 meters.

I would use the Google info but use it with suspect. When you get to the actual location you should use your WAAS activated GPS unit of “refine” the position.

If you need any additional information, get back with me.

Captain Paul
February 03 at 6:43am
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Inshore Fishing in Southeast Louisiana
A recent May 9th article by Todd Masson in the Times-Picayune Outdoors section reported that the ExxonMobil refinery in Chalmette will discontinue ethanol free gasoline production May 16th. This is the last large supplier of non-ethanol gas in Louisiana. Two other plants in the Lake Charles area produce much less and would not help the southeast part of the state. If this is true then it will be....  Read More
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Waterfowl and Duck Hunting in Louisiana
I just read a great article written by Todd Masson in a recent Times Picayune concerning the past poor season despite great local conditions. The article included ideas about why it was poor especially in the SE part of the state. Included in this article was information from Larry Reynolds about the past season. Also he sheds a light on the future of duck hunting in the whole state of....  Read More
January 28, 2014 at 7:34pm
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Inshore Fishing in Louisiana
My cousin from Kentwood is now fighting for his life at North Oaks Hospital because of a vibrio infection. He spent last weekend at Grand Isle fishing and crabbing, something he loves to do at the Isle. But along with the fish and crabs he returned home to enjoy he also returned with vibrio. He started noticing a itching sensation on his right foot Monday night and by Tuesday at 4 am he was....  Read More
August 08, 2013 at 3:43pm
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Waterfowl and Duck Hunting in Southeast Louisiana
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January 09, 2011 at 2:26pm
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Fishing in Southeast Louisiana
Is the public launch on Hwy 90 at the East Pearl River open to the public yet or is it still dedicated to the oil cleanup work?
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September 14, 2010 at 8:35pm
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Deer Hunting in Southeast Louisiana
OK, for you internet scouting deer hunters. I almost hit two big does at 6 AM this morning on Hwy 51 crossing the road going east at the swamp walk entrance on the south end of the Maurepas WMA. Good Luck!
October 19, 2009 at 9:51am

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