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Metal Detecting - Getting The Most From Online Map Researching

Updated on February 7, 2011

  One of the biggest challenges that most metal detectorist come across is finding new locations to hunt. I myself do a far amount of research, going over old maps, online recon, and a lot of footwork. Finding new places to hunt is not that hard, you just have to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

  The World Wide Web, better known as the Internet, is changing the way we experience our treasure hunting. Being able to search for sites, from the comfort of our favorite chair.

  The old method we would spread out that old  battered, coffee stained street map and look for  schools, city parks that we haven’t hunted lately. The new and improved method involves sitting at the computer, viewing aerial photos, then zooming in to get a close-up look at  potential sites. Many of these online mapping sites, allow you to viewstreet level pictures from satellite images, so you can view possible sites and the landscape around the site, long before you head out to the location. Giving you the heads up, you can tell whether the layout is rocky, grassy, hilly, or wooded, and  then  find out how good it may be for treasure hunting.

  This aerial view technique is a handy tool,  for metal detectorists, it  can allow you to spot  those vacant lots, forgotten hiking trails, old home sites, and property lines thet you would otherwise miss. Google Maps is a great site for some up to date map data, and they are easy to use, 


Terraserver  and National Geographic are similar to Google Maps, but they also provide some cool  “birds-eye,” views, and it gives you more of a sense of  the dimensions, other than the standard satellite images.

 Another valuable resource is Google Earth. It’s a free download program, and not a web site, so you have to install it on your PC. Once youv'e  installed it you can fly to anywhere on the planet, zoom in on the location, and see some interesting features. This is useful in urban areas, since they have added what are called “Street View” images. Google sent out vans packed with state of the art "360-degree cameras" to capture all the major urban areas on film, taking photos every few yards. You should see those images by selecting the "Street View" overlay, then clicking on any of the camera icons that appear for available thoroughfares.

 Google Earth works with another great site called Panoramio, which allows you to post your photos of the area. Fortunately, millions of Google Earth surfers have already posted their photos to the site, so when you look at an aerial photo, and you select the Panoramio overlay, you should have access to hundreds of stock photos for any  area. This helps you assess whether or not the location is good for metal detecting.

  You should take advantage of these mapping sites. Best of all, is that it allows you to look at public areas and land where you wouldn’t think to explore using a paper map. The online maps show hiking trails, bike lanes, beaches, property lines, privies, old out buildings and tons more of  those tiny little micro-sites that are hidden from the everyday view.

  Surfing the Internet lets you tap into the power of information, so why not take full advantage of it . This will greatly expand your horizons for treasure hunting, and better locations for your metal detecting. Good Luck!


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