Technology is wonderful, and luckily for metal detecting enthusiasts satellite maps like Google Maps and Bing maps can be accessed from anywhere on most computers and smartphones. When I am researching a property that I am going to detect I like to use satellite maps to view a layout of the terrain. Scouting the area beforehand can give you an idea of what to expect when you get there.
Another reason I like to scout an area while using aerial maps is that it gives me an opportunity to plot out the spots with the highest probability for finding good targets.
In this example, the green dots encompass the main areas that I would concentrate on if I detected this property.
Sometimes I color code the areas when I plot out potential target rich environments. Green dots would symbolize an area that I wanted to detect first. Orange dots or lines would be other areas that weren’t as high traffic, but still might hold some goodies. Red dots or lines would be areas that I would detect if time permitted but would be areas that I would focus less on during the initial hunt there.
Both Google Maps and Bing maps show aerial views, but I personally like using Bing Maps the most because you can turn the view 4 different directions. The reason that is useful is because sometimes when you are scouting a property from one view, there might be leaves on the trees obscuring your view of paths, or structures.
Often you get a chance to see what the area looks like at various times of the year because one view may be during the summer, and another view during the fall. By being able to rotate the views, sometimes you get a better angle that allows you to see things that you couldn’t before.
There are several good aerial maps that you can use, including Google Earth, Bing Maps, CalTopo, historic aerials and many others that are free to use. Cross referencing your detecting spots on different satellite maps can be beneficial in helping you discover new information about many of your metal detecting spots.
Trails and paths are much easier to spot from the air and can lead you to prime detecting areas that others may have missed or never even knew about.
Just a few more tools for your metal detecting arsenal.
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