I am generally a big fan of Google. They have created many products that I use and enjoy, including one in particular that has been of huge benefit to the fishing world.
I love searching out new places to fish and getting to know the features, above and below water, as best as possible. When Google Maps brought satellite images of the entire world into my home it expanded the rate of my exploration dramatically. No longer did I need to physically tromp through the bushes of every bit of accessible shoreline, now I could check a vast lake for promising spots in less than an hour. And I could do it from the comfort of my living room, without the danger of poison oak, or the annoyance of freezing temperatures.
However, as Google replaced it’s “satellite view” with the more dynamic “Google Earth” experience, it began to use some sort of composite images that transitioned smoothly to a 3-D format. For most purposes this was an improvement, it was easy to get a sense of elevations and find terrain features that point to good fishing. For surf fishing in the ocean, this change was a disaster. The constant change in the surf zone makes the composite images into a blurry mess, totally destroying the fantastic resolution of the original satellite view images.
Fortunately, there is a loophole. Many years ago I discovered a fantastic Google Maps hack called Gmap-Pedometer, a browser application designed for measuring the distance of running or cycling routes. Notwithstanding it’s intended purpose, Gmap-Pedometer has somehow kept using the original satellite view images. So, at least for now, we can all continue to scour the reefs and shorelines of the worlds oceans for good fishing spots from the comfort of our living rooms, preferably with a cold beverage in hand.