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Old 12-15-2021, 07:12 PM
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Default How much research do you all do?

I was wondering how much time you all spend on doing research. I am a GIS technician (since 2007) and have recently been getting into lidar. I probably spend 2 or 3 times as much time looking for sites on the computer than actual hunting. Lidar is great, but most of the old homes down here where built on blocks and not dirt foundations so it hasn't helped me much. Now, for you guys up north, it might help. For my area I have found the most help is from old aerials that I can overlay on a current (or older) Google Earth kml.s. I can find old homes and compare them to current imagery and even go into street-view and see if there is a fence there. It's awesome!!! It's like actually being there. I'll probably do a video of some free software you can download and some pointers on how to get some imagery/elevation files from your local property appraisers offices online.

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Old 12-15-2021, 09:21 PM
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Since I'm retired and have lots of time on my hands, I spend a fair amount of time checking old maps and doing research when I can't actually be out detecting. With winter arriving, I'm trying to come up with a good system for keeping track of my research that I'll be doing daily for the next couple months so that I can easily access it and use it come next spring. I want to sort of classify places according to which season would be best to detect each site. For instance, old school house sites that are now corn fields would be good to hit before they are planted. Wooded places would be better in the heat of the summer when they provide shade. Sort of a priority list.

If you do a video, I'd watch it!

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Old 12-15-2021, 10:40 PM
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I do quite a bit. just got done checking into a bunch of possible permissions and scouting parks and train tracks using historic aerials. I am always looking for old areas of cities to hunt.

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Old 12-16-2021, 12:29 PM
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Here is a screenshot of QGIS with a lidar layer. The program is open source (free) and the lidar (LAS) file was downloaded (also free) from the county GIS site. You can clearly see all the building foundations and the trees and buildings don't show up. It's an intensive program with quite the learning curve, but there are lots of tutorials online. You can also add aerial/image files (SID), but Google Earth is far easier and faster.
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Old 12-16-2021, 12:49 PM
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It's not the same program(s) I use at work, so I'm not that familiar with it...yet. The software I use at work is VERY expensive, but QGIS will do a lot.

Another cool resource is arcgis.com. They have some really good apps showing historic aerials.

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Old 12-16-2021, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Florida Tabdigger View post
I was wondering how much time you all spend on doing research. I am a GIS technician (since 2007) and have recently been getting into lidar. I probably spend 2 or 3 times as much time looking for sites on the computer than actual hunting. Lidar is great, but most of the old homes down here where built on blocks and not dirt foundations so it hasn't helped me much. Now, for you guys up north, it might help. For my area I have found the most help is from old aerials that I can overlay on a current (or older) Google Earth kml.s. I can find old homes and compare them to current imagery and even go into street-view and see if there is a fence there. It's awesome!!! It's like actually being there. I'll probably do a video of some free software you can download and some pointers on how to get some imagery/elevation files from your local property appraisers offices online.
Great to hear from a GIS person! I'm a retired geologist but I was also using GIS (ESRI ArcGIS and Arcview before that). I wasn't a GIS guru but I sure did get into it and loved it! I have been using Caltopo and Backcountry Navigator for help in research and trip planning. I usually transfer my gathered features, tracks and sites to Google Earth if I want to archive areas and use the topology. I get the slope shading (lidar) from Caltopo and unfortunately, resolution is frequently an issue..

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Old 12-16-2021, 06:36 PM
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I have heard of guys using Lidar in the past. I'll be watching this thread closely, eager to learn more!

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Old 12-16-2021, 07:49 PM
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Well if your trying to find indian mounds or buying a piece of low-lying property and want to know how much fill you need...it's great. But other than that...I don't know. Old aerials are by far the best resource.

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Old 12-16-2021, 07:51 PM
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The system we are purchasing is accurate to 1cm...which is ridiculous. The county lidar is 1 meter and is pretty darn good.

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Old 12-17-2021, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Florida Tabdigger View post
The system we are purchasing is accurate to 1cm

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Old 12-17-2021, 05:00 AM
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I probably have equal time in reading old maps to detecting. I also gps plot my finds to line up old maps easier too, I've not yet messed with lidar.
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Old 12-22-2021, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Florida Tabdigger View post
Here is a screenshot of QGIS with a lidar layer. The program is open source (free) and the lidar (LAS) file was downloaded (also free) from the county GIS site. You can clearly see all the building foundations and the trees and buildings don't show up. It's an intensive program with quite the learning curve, but there are lots of tutorials online. You can also add aerial/image files (SID), but Google Earth is far easier and faster.
What great timing. I just recently have been trying to learn QGIS. Also signed up for some ARCGIS classes. Figured they'd make great tools for detecting research and of course for making custom maps.
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Old 12-22-2021, 01:32 PM
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GIS person's? Retired geologists? Geeze Louise, I'm not in this league here speaking of research. I go to town parks and mostly run around the edge looking for paths and such. I used to use the CT state library online old aerial photos of areas around parks. I'd look for spots that show use, paths, and light areas around lakes and reservoirs. Usually will net me wheats and an occasional silver. Most places I'd like to hunt on old aerials in my area are now someone's back nice manicured yard or a parking lot for Cumby's. And really farm fields all over on the old aerial.

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Old 12-22-2021, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lostcoast View post
What great timing. I just recently have been trying to learn QGIS. Also signed up for some ARCGIS classes. Figured they'd make great tools for detecting research and of course for making custom maps.
Your county website should have a wealth of shape files you can make layers out of. But Google Earth is by far the most useful.

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Old 12-22-2021, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tinsmith View post
GIS person's? Retired geologists? Geeze Louise, I'm not in this league here speaking of research. I go to town parks and mostly run around the edge looking for paths and such. I used to use the CT state library online old aerial photos of areas around parks. I'd look for spots that show use, paths, and light areas around lakes and reservoirs. Usually will net me wheats and an occasional silver. Most places I'd like to hunt on old aerials in my area are now someone's back nice manicured yard or a parking lot for Cumby's. And really farm fields all over on the old aerial.
Yeah, there's no substitute for in-the-field observation. Here in my area there wasn't much around but orange groves and farm fields until the 70-80s.

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Old 12-29-2021, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Rock Jock View post
Great to hear from a GIS person! I'm a retired geologist but I was also using GIS (ESRI ArcGIS and Arcview before that). I wasn't a GIS guru but I sure did get into it and loved it! I have been using Caltopo and Backcountry Navigator for help in research and trip planning. I usually transfer my gathered features, tracks and sites to Google Earth if I want to archive areas and use the topology. I get the slope shading (lidar) from Caltopo and unfortunately, resolution is frequently an issue..
Do you have the Desktop subscription to Caltopo, and if so do you feel it offers much over Pro for metal detecting/prospecting?
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Old 12-29-2021, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Florida Tabdigger View post
It's not the same program(s) I use at work, so I'm not that familiar with it...yet. The software I use at work is VERY expensive, but QGIS will do a lot.

Another cool resource is arcgis.com. They have some really good apps showing historic aerials.
For anyone interested in learning ArcGIS for mapping, ESRI has free online courses where they give access to the software for the duration of the course. Good way to learn the programs before dropping $100 on a personal subscription.
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Old 12-29-2021, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lostcoast View post
Do you have the Desktop subscription to Caltopo, and if so do you feel it offers much over Pro for metal detecting/prospecting?
Yes, I have Caltopo on my phone and on my laptop. My elder daughter put me on to Caltopo and Backcountry navigator, although she is using Caltopo more and more doing the same thing. She orienteers in Yellowstone National Park backcountry and geocaches. She is also trying to pick up some GIS skills.
Caltopo shaded relief (lidar) is the really useful feature. Remote areas have lower resolution, More culturally active areas have higher resolution(basically the same situation as Google Earth imagery). Some of the folks in New England have been using lidar to good effect on colonial era basement holes for old homesteads, old walls and old roads. I use it for those things as well but not in New England so it can get into spotty coverage quickly.
I use Google Earth Pro, but haven't found any lidar on it. Perhaps you have found some? I confess that I haven't gone looking for it very much.

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Old 12-29-2021, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rock Jock View post
Yes, I have Caltopo on my phone and on my laptop. My elder daughter put me on to Caltopo and Backcountry navigator, although she is using Caltopo more and more doing the same thing. She orienteers in Yellowstone National Park backcountry and geocaches. She is also trying to pick up some GIS skills.
Caltopo shaded relief (lidar) is the really useful feature. Remote areas have lower resolution, More culturally active areas have higher resolution(basically the same situation as Google Earth imagery). Some of the folks in New England have been using lidar to good effect on colonial era basement holes for old homesteads, old walls and old roads. I use it for those things as well but not in New England so it can get into spotty coverage quickly.
I use Google Earth Pro, but haven't found any lidar on it. Perhaps you have found some? I confess that I haven't gone looking for it very much.
Those basement areas would be great for you guy's neck of the woods. I know here in SW Florida, LIDAR is almost useless. All the old homes here were built up on blocks that don't show.

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Old 12-29-2021, 08:53 PM
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It is awesome for locating Calusa Indian mounds, but digging around those is not a good idea these days. Could get you in some deep ****, if you catch my drift.

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