Satellite images of game at waterholes

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    These satellite images from Google Earth allow you to see game at waterholes in Namibia... Quite fascinating technology!

    For a better view, you can click on the images to enlarge them...

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  2. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    That Kudu on the left in the first pic has a broken horn.
     
  3. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Jerome,
    I use Google Earth extensively each pre-season as prepatory research to help navigate around the thousands of square kilometers of wilderness that i operate on.

    I am able to hone in on co-ordinates for water-holes, game trails etc then transpose these into my hand held g.p.s. for locating whilst on the ground.

    My problem is that the visual clarity on my own p.c begins to distort at about 1200ft zoom function and that images are often out-dated by several years or more.

    Even on the pics above it is extremely difficult for me to differentiate the wild-life you have circled from other shapes that may/may not be animals.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to gain better visual detail with G.E and are recent images available to the public.

    Google Earth has proved to be a very valuable tool for me in assisting my exploration of what is genuine wilderness land.

    Thanks in advance,
    Paul.
     
  4. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    For me here at home I would use google earth a lot, but had the same problem with clarity when zooming in. I get much better detail on most places with Bing using the birds eye view function.
     
  5. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Hey Buskbuck, have not heard of, or used, Bing.

    Can you please provide more information.

    Satelite imagery forms an integral part of hunting research and exploration of wilderness for me.
    Any tools available that would better the function provided by Google Earth would be most appreiciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Paul.
     
  6. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Paul, First, have you tried updating your Google Earth application? I don't think that it is the issue but it may help some if you have not done it for some time.

    Here below is a Google Earth snapshot taken at an eye altitude of 2000 meter of an area of our property, the imagery date says that it was taken back in 2003. You can see that there is a great variation in resolution from the right to the left side of the image. The left side has a much higher resolution, providing much greater details and clarity. Most of our property falls under the better resolution however parts of it is quite blurry as you can see it shown on the right side of this image. It seems that they scanned the earth at different level of resolution from one area to another... Also the weather and time of the year may affect the clarity of the images. I am certain that in time all of this will only get better.

    For a better view, you can click on the image to enlarge it...

    [​IMG]

    Regarding the game that I pinpointed on the images of my original post, I certainly would not be able to see that they are animals but knowing these waterholes, the areas that are marked can only be animals...

    It is indeed a great tool to survey any property, and Paul, I understand why this tool has become so important to your hunting operation. I looked at Australia, the area of Arnhemland where you hunt, particularly the far east of Arnhemland, and the images that come out look pretty good to me, but then again I don't know where you are exactly. There was one area quite hazy due some sort of cloud veil...

    Bushbuck, If I look at our territory in Namibia with Bing Map Bird's Eye View, the resolution and clarity is very poor.

    Here is I think the link to Bing Map that Bushbuck is referring to: http://www.bing.com/maps/. And of course there is alway Google Maps at the following link: http://maps.google.com/
     
  7. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    By the way anyone interest in downloading and installing Google Earth application on their PC, Mac or Mobile device can go to the following link: http://www.google.com/earth/index.html.
     
  8. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    I think it may depend where you are. When I use Bing Here in NH I can see a pumpkin on someones front doorstep. I just used it and zoomed in on Capetown. It didnt allow me to get as close as we can here, but was still very clear pretty close.
    I agree these maps give a wealth of info. We use them a lot here for hunting and fishing in remote areas.
     
  9. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    But that gemsbok is sure nice.
     
  10. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Hey Jerome, thanks for the feedback.

    Yes, satelite survey is a vital component of exploration for me in my wilderness area.
    There are some areas I have been trying to achieve, with my vehicles, that have not even been visited by my Traditional Owners for decades due to the rough nature of the ground for vehicle transport and loss of old time knowledge on how to get there.

    Not quite what I had in mind for your visit with us, but none-the-less glad you "dropped" in for a look.

    Google Earth has provided an invaluable tool for pre-season research and navigation.

    You are correct, I have not up-dated for quite some time and will attempt to do so this week-end.

    I have also tried Flash Earth which provides much better images and resolution but does not cater for the navigation tools i need, such as scale distance measures and co-ords in U.T.M, which is the system I use for g.p.s use. So I use a combination of Flash, then refer back to Google, place mark areas of interest, generate U.T.M co-ordinates then transfer these to my hand-held g.p.s.'s. Once out in the field it generally takes much more effort and time to achieve a certain place than it appears on the screen of a p.c.

    Last year it took me 7hrs to cut a track into a water-hole only 3 km's of a previously established track.

    This type of technology is an incredible tool for remote area exploration, but it could certainly be better.
     
  11. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    How cool is that! That makes me want to book a hunt with you! Unspoiled land....that's adventure.
     
  12. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Hi Tom.

    Yes adventure is one way to describe it !

    It is also a lot of work, maintanance and repairs to vehicles (and expense) and as you can gain from the above, many hours spent perusing maps, satelite images and orienteering into remote regions(with chainsaws, scrub-hooks, machetes, winching and recovering vehicles).

    Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining as being in the nature of this type of environment forms an integral part of our hunt experience, but it is certainly a long way removed from the access and facility provided by hunting more developed regions that most people are accustomed to.

    But as they say, there is more than one way to skin that cat.

    This year I have introduced a 16' aluminium run-a-bout with 115 h.p outboard. The boat will allow me to access certain remote areas without sustaining the pounding to my hunting truck when pushing through unchartered scrub. I have major River systems plus many kilometers of un-inhabited remote coastline that I currently don't access, this boat will change all of that, as well as providing a valuable tool for some fantastic fishing at the end of the hunt.

    For other areas, off water-ways, I'll have to continue to; clear with ground-burns then slowly push into, a single kilometer at a time. It is slow going, we only achieve a few new areas each year, but it also means that how-ever long I am hunting this region I will allways have new and fresh country to look forward to.

    Jerome, I'd seriously like you to take a look at Flash Earth and compare the clarity and resolution, you might be surprised and almost be able to score that Kudu at the waterhole.

    Cheers all,
    Paul.
     
  13. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Paul,

    So have the buff you hunt ever seen a human? Are they inquisitive about hunters? I think it sounds like a great archery hunt if they haven't been pressured much...and if the areas haven't seen a truck in 20 + years, i bet they haven't been pressured!
     
  14. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Paul, I just checked out Flash Earth, looks really good and I do think that the quality of the images is better than Google Earth... though I still cannot score that bull!

    If you look at the Flash Earth snapshot image that I took of the same waterhole, they use exactly the same imagery but the treatment of the image is different...

    For a better view, you can click on the images to enlarge them...

    Snapshot image with Flash Earth
    [​IMG]

    Snapshot image with Google Earth
    [​IMG]
     
  15. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Hello Tom.

    Ofcourse, it is imposible for me to answer your question with qualified fact, but in my mind's eye, yes I believe each season we come into contact with animals who's previous exposure to man (and quite certainly hunters) has been none, or at least very limited.
    Our Traditional Owners do not pursue the buff for any reason except in cases where conflict occurs, therefore the only threat posed in this region is by me with my hunting clients.

    You must realise that the Asiatic buffalo of our region have the capability to travel vast distances throughout the season, so you never really know where they've come from, but certainly with respect to the reaction you get from some buff, they either don't register the potential threat posed by the intitial sight of a hunter, or they simply don't care.
    This is by no means to suggest that they are a "gimmy", or push-over, to hunt, but to suggest that to some buff, the sight or presence of man does not neccessarily initiate instant flight response.

    Our average shot distances with rifle hunters is at about that 60yds range, with many taken well below that and some out to 100 or so, with the longest shots ever taken on my hunts being 170yds.
    The conditions available and nature of where we are hunting certainly do lend to some very viable bow hunting if you are up for it.
    A lot of the hunters that book with me do so specifically for double rifle, big bore, close range experience.

    We are now getting way off thread and with no intent to be rude or discourteous, I do not want to hijack Jeromes thread with promotions for my hunts. I invite you to p.m me for any details you may wish.

    Jerome, I'm glad it's not just me and you also recognise the visual difference between Flash and G.E.

    Do you know if there is any way of applying the same navigational instruments available on G.E to the Flash service ?
    I have looked and tried but cannot seem to locate any tools.
    Also, I believe that Flash allows for much better zoom function whilst retaining clarity, no ?
     
  16. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Paul, This thread was started more for entertainment value than anything else but I actually like the direction that it is taking... There is no hijacking here, feel free to discuss anything that you'd like, I find all of this quite interesting... Also if anyone else uses this technology, please feel free to share your take on things.

    To answer your questions, Flash Earth does not allow me to enter the longitude or latitude, it only allows me to do a search by entering a location. The set of features provided by Google Earth makes it a better tool for me.

    Google Earth allows me to get closer, not that it is necessarily better as the images get more distorted and blurry, but indeed Flash Earth image quality is better in general. It seems that Flash Earth has eliminated some of this black shadowing that you find on Google Earth thus enhancing the visual aspect of the imagery. For me Google Earth is a lot faster at processing its' images, making it more friendly to navigate.
     
  17. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Paul, Looked into Flash Earth some more and I found the following:

    How do I search by latitude and longitude?
    If you know the coordinates of a location by its latitude and longitude you can enter them into the Search box and be taken to that position. For example, entering 48.856558, 2.350966 (decimal latitude and longitude separated by a comma) or 48 51 23 N, 2 21 3 E (a pair of degrees, minutes and seconds, separated by a comma) will take to you directly to Paris.

    For your info, here is the link to Flash Earth Help: http://www.flashearth.com/help/
     
  18. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Paul & Jerome

    Google earth will zoom in on some locations and others. it all depends on the location. on some the area details are renewed timley and others they have not changed for years.

    try Google chrome
     
  19. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    James, thanks for the reccomendation to try Google Chrome, I'll be doing that tommorrow and trying it out.

    With only a few short months before the start of my season, pre-season prep for navigational purposes is what I'm currently attending to and all of the advice and assistance provided in this thread has come, at least for me, at a very convenient time.

    For those of you interested in this thread I'll try and explain the procedure that I use.

    Each year I use a combination of knowledge gained of certain areas in previous seasons, combine that with Google Earth and topo maps to generate co-ordinates that can be transfered to a hand-held g.p.s. unit which can then be later utilised whilst on the ground in the effort to locate specific places of interest.

    Personally, I have found using U.T.M (Universal Transverse Mercator) to be far and away more accurate and reliable system of co-ords than the standard lat & long co-ords.
    For those unfamiliar, U.T.M is a mathematical equation which allows for the differential in measurement when a sphere (the shape of the surface of the Earth) is transposed onto a flat surface (the page of a map).
    U.T.M is designated in decimals of a Kilometer so that when you get accustomed to using it you can look at the co-ords read-out on your hand-held unit and compare it in meters to either where you've been or where your going with a simple and quick mental calculation without even changing function on your g.p.s.
    Also, when generating co-ords off a map you simply need a good scale ruler and as long as you are careful in reading that scale you will find you can get the accuracy of proposed waypoints down to an incredible level of accuracy.

    Jerome, my requirements from a satelite search site are not to navigate to a certain point via c-ords but to be able to generate the co-ords of a certain place when that place is chosen and found.

    As a business centered around the hunting of Asiatic buffalo, watering points are the obvious points of interest to me but so to is the natural configuration of the land as this sometimes dictates the type of ground cover that particular area will grow, (and represent areas of potential feed sites) and, ofcourse in the case of both Google and Flash, the presence and pattern , and visibility, of game trails allows me to establish a level of animal activity and hunting credibility of a certain area. This is important in our region where a simple trip of several kilometers may require a serious investment in terms of time spent cutting tracks and potential damage inflicted on vehicles when pushing those tracks through.

    Previous experience has shown that some of the most isolated and remote, lone water-holes are both the most productive in terms of results gained and expensive to achieve in terms of effort expended.

    When i find a likely looking spot on Google, I then use Flash (much better visual clarity) to re-confirm my find, then back to Google where I can use the navigational instruments provided to generate a U.T.M co-ordinate for the location.
    That U.T.M is then entered into my handheld g.p.s. with a generic name place desription which is also backed up in a small note book with any specific details relevant to that site. That site is also noted on the topo maps I carry in my vehicle to reference proximity to other places.

    I can gather, even as i type this out, that to the uninitiated this must seem to be a lot of work, but when you familiarise yourself with a system it becomes, well at least to me, second nature.
    My hunting concession is about 90 km's east to west and about 70 km's north to south of pure, unadulterated and undeveloped wilderness.

    We have, as far as established/permanently visible "roads" or tracks;
    **the main road which runs east/west, roughly through the middle of the area,
    ** and approximately 6 other usable and relocatable (each season) tracks meandering through various parts.

    That's it.

    The rest is bush bashing, to known, previously located hunting hot spots and walking into points.

    I certainly don't find it to be a chore, rather I look forward to navigating my way into new locale's each season and the potential rewards that await me and my hunters.

    As someone who operates in a wilderness environment, I've found the use of these satelite web sites to be an incredibly useful tool in finding and then, later on, breaking in new and unchartered country.

    And for something different, this year for the first time, I'll also be doing it from the water whilst based from a boat as i explore some of the many kilometers of unhunted coastline that forms a part of my hunting area.

    Who knows whats around that next corner ?????
    And how many of us as hunters can resist the temptation to look ?????
     
  20. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    The only other thing to remember about these sites is that they are sometimes using old data. This most likely does not play as big of a factor out in the bush where you guys are. When I look at my own house I can tell the photos are at least 3 years old. I have also found great hunting areas only to go there now and see a road cut thru and a development in the middle.
    I pull up my old house online and can still see my car in the driveway, I have not owned that car for 4 years.
     

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