Monday, February 25, 2019

Travel and Planning - Part 3

In Part 2, I left off talking about how I use Google Earth to mark all the locations that I'd like to visit, how it gives me a way to look at the entire map and see where everything is located relative to where I'm going to be in the country and where I might be staying.

I forgot to mention that I also create a new folder in the Places window to hold all my locations for that country.  In this case, I created a folder called Scotland and as I pinned each location on the map, I would then make sure to drag and drop that entry into the Scotland folder to keep everything organized.  Once all of the locations from my notes have been pinned on the map, and then those entries have been dragged and dropped into my Scotland folder, it's time to see what else I can find.

I usually start to then pan around on the map and click on the photo icons to take a look at the photos that are shared there and to see if there is anything else that looks like something I just have to see or photograph myself.  If I see a photo of anything I'd like to visit myself, I'll zoom way in on the map near that photo, and scroll around looking for the actual spot on the map where that photo was taken.  You can't really trust where the image icon shows up on the map, as many of the photo icons are off a bit from the actual place those photos were taken. 

I've gotten pretty good over the years of reading those satellite imagines and finding the spots where the photos were actually taken from and then I will put a pin in that spot so I can get to that location later using my GPS.  I'll explain that whole process in another post though.

In the case of the Scotland trip, I have probably spent 30+ hours just browsing and scanning back and forth over the map of Scotland looking for anything that may make for cool photos, that isn't so well known that when I get there I'll be standing shoulder to shoulder with 30 other photographers, all taking the exact same photo at the same time.   I mean, there are those iconic shots everyone wants to take, and that I admit I want to take for myself too.  You can't always avoid the crowds of photographers in those situations, but I really do try my best to find 10 locations for every iconic one, where I might hopefully be the only photographer there.

I just spend a few hours a week on Google Earth searching out those cool, not so popular locations.  Past experience has taught me that they might not always turn out to be something worth photographing, but I have found some really cool stuff to this way, that I would have never seen without putting in the time to do this.

One other thing I do as I pin new locations to the map, and as I move those locations into the correct folder in my folder layout, is that I make sure to save often and to also export the folder I'm working on to my hard drive as a backup.  I do this because Google Earth does have a bad habit of crashing from time to time, and I have lost hours of work in the past when it's crashed on me. 

This is the step I'm currently on for my Scotland trip and I think my list of pinned locations has grown to be more than 100 entries.  There is no way I can possibly see them all in the 12 days I will have so in my next post on this subject, I will be talking about what I'm doing to narrow down what I hope to see while I'm there.

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