Google Earth comes to GPS mapping

GPS mapping has come a long way from the old line drawings of the older systems. But it seems every system has its weaknesses — one being the area covered by detailed maps.

Well, now you can move from your computer to your GPS seamlessly with a new mapping system based on Google Earth — Trent Mapping v10 cards.

“When you’re sitting in your office on a Friday afternoon fishing on the computer, when you get on the water on Saturday, you’ll be looking at the same thing,” said Trent Boudreaux, owner of Trent Mapping LLC out of Chackbay.

Boudreaux said he developed Trent Mapping v10 for two reasons.

“First, I saw a need for it in the areas I fish,” he explained.

For instance, he spends a lot of time at Toledo Bend, and he wanted GPS mapping to provide help in locating likely fishing holes.

“I can see the grass on Google Earth,” Boudreaux said. “I can zoom in and see the grass on Toledo Bend. And then I added coastal Louisiana, so I could see the bayous and stuff to run around.”

Secondly, he perceived a financial reason.

“I figured there’s got to be a cheaper solution (than other available mapping systems),” Boudreaux said.

The wheels began turning, and he fell back on experience at a survey mapping firm for which he once worked.

“We used Google Earth maps all the time,” he said. “As long as you include an attribution that it’s Google Earth maps, you can use them.”

So he developed a system to place Google Earth maps on SD cards for use in GPS systems, and he’s been testing them for a while now.

Currently included on Trent Mapping v10 cards are high-resolution maps of the entire state of Louisiana, along with select lakes in other areas of the southern United States.

“It has Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend, Lake Okhissa (in Mississippi), Guntersville and Lake Okeechobee,” Boudreaux said. “You can see all of the United States, but it won’t be clear until you zoom into those locations.”

All for a retail price of $199, Boudreaux said.

Maps include subtle Google Earth watermarking, but Boudreaux said that won’t interfere with navigation.

“Unless you’re looking for it, you won’t even notice it,” he explained.

The system works with all GPS units using the Navico operating system. These include Lowrance, Simrad and Raymarine.

It’s important to note Garmin units run on a different operating system, so Trent Mapping v10 cards will not work on those models.

A website for the cards is currently being developed. In the meantime, Front to Back Boat Service in Baton Rouge will be the primary Trent Mapping v10 dealer.

Call Front to Back Boat Service at (225) 928-9644 for more information.

Andy Crawford
About Andy Crawford 870 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.

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