Stop by & offer a few pointers, or point & laugh, as a few old farts figure out the fine art of living... Life on a Few Acres

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A FREE tool for homesteaders

 One 21st century tool I have made use of while looking for- and now starting- our lil piece of the dream has been google map/google earth.  It's not our mothers google any more folks!  In addition to the basic directions & street view functions, you can find elevations and contour, measure distances, experiment with layout of features on your farm, and in some areas, even see old views of the land.

 Google earth pro has added features, and decided to no longer charge for the product.  I am still exploring its features, but this first day out of the gate with it, I was able to see how a section of land I've been evaluating has been used for the last 25 years.  It was fun to see the shift from paddock to tree lot and back again.  And I didn't have to glean that info from  a chance encounter at the  feed store.

I hope the tool can help someone else with their homesteading dreams & designs, so I've included a link to the product download.



  1. You posted! Every time I return a blog visit I wonder about your progress. I used to have Google Earth but with Linux, it was a bit of a bother. Ubuntu is constantly upgrading to accommodate features like that, so I'll have to look into it again. The new features sound very helpful.

  2. Yes, I've given up on Google Earth a few times, myself, but the free pro package was too big a temptation. So far, so good. Not much progress to show; right now I'm in that "intensive planning" stage for this property, & working on getting the old one on the market. Thanks for the visit!

  3. Hey, JW! It's MaryAnn from Calamity Acres. I saw your comment about the bird flu. One thing I am doing that is BAD for poultry keepers is feeding wild birds, as they can carry H5N2 (and other strains). I'll only be doing that for another month or so, and there will be natural food for everyone. I only have 12 birds right now... I used to have over 100... spread out amongst 3 henhouses. I only had upper respiratory hit me a few times, but it can spread through a flock like wildfire. Right now, no one but me is coming in and out of the henhouse, just in case. If I thought there was really an outbreak in Leavenworth County, I would paint my tires with Techtrol, and step in and out of it before going in the henhouse, to try to kill any disease. I love Google Earth, by the way

    1. Hi Mary Ann! Thanks for stopping by, and for the information. I was caught off guard to learn we had AI in the area, and not sure how much steeper it might make my learning curve. Sounds like keeping an eye on the scope (if any) of the outbreak, and having a good plan for prevention will keep our birds to be in good shape.
      Thanks again for all the information; your blog feels like a natural science course given inside an art museum! Love it!!

  4. Google Earth past views! I have never seen this but that would be so interesting. Our office is moving locations and I used Google Earth to "drive" around the property and see what everything looks like before we actually move.

  5. Hi Kathy! Thanks for stopping by, and for joining! Yes, google earth gives new meaning to that old tradition of Sunday drives! There are features on the pro version I've yet to discover, but I'm getting lots out of the features I have figured out. Can't beat the price, either .