|What is Google Earth, and why is it important to this website?
Google Earth is a virtual globe program that allows users to view satellite imagery in stunning detail. While everything on this website is plotted on Google Earth, the satellite imagery is especially useful for learning the lay of the land and finding your way to places that do not have street addresses, like most of the nude beaches described in this guide.
The three images below illustrate what Google Earth looks like. Click on any image for an expanded view. This image on the left shows what your desktop will look like when you load Google Earth. The middle image shows a zoomed-in image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Notice that automobiles and even ant-like people are visible in the image. The image on the right illustrates how we use Google Earth to provide information about nude beaches with placemarks. (The particular location shown is Pirate's Cove near San Luis Obispo, California.)
|How do I download Google Earth?
Google Earth can be downloaded from earth.google.com.
|Does it cost anything?
No. Google Earth is free.
|How up-to-date is the Google Earth satellite imagery?
That varies, and the imagery is always subject to change as newer imagery becomes available. Most imagery seems to be from within the last five years. Note that the copyright date that appears as you zoom in on various locations is NOT the date of the imagery. As you are browsing, keep in mind that the world is always changing, but those changes are not instantly reflected in Google Earth. For example, there are a few cases in Spain where we give directions from recently built motorway exits, but those exits are not visible in the satellite imagery because they had not yet been built when the images were taken.
|For some locations, the imagery is fuzzy. Is something wrong?
The quality of the satellite imagery varies from location to location. The two images below both cover approximately equal areas—about 1/4 square mile in each case. Click on either image for a detailed view.
The image on the left is Cala Macarelleta, a beach on the Mediterranean island of Menorca (part of Spain). This image is beautifully detailed. Individual tree tops can be discerned, and you can see yachts and smaller boats in the bay. You can zoom in even closer in Google Earth and literally see the outlines of individual beach blankets.
The image on the right is Trawalua Beach on the western coast of Ireland. This imagery details for this location are quite poor, and this is a case where the Google Earth imagery, unfortunately, is of little use.
The good news is that, for the vast majority of locations in this guide, the quality of the imagery more closely resembles that of the image on the left. The other good news is that satellite imagery gets replaced and improves over time. In the several years we have been using Google Earth, we have noticed that many places that were initially fuzzy are now crystal clear.
|Do you plan to introduce user forums?
No. We do not have the wherewithal to maintain or moderate user forums. The main purpose of this guide to to answer the basic questions What is it?, Where is it? and How do I get there? The links section has a list of trip-report oriented web sites if you'd like to read personal accounts.
|I stayed at a place I found through this guide and I want to complain about it. Can I unload on you?
Hmm. That depends. If the nature of the complaint suggests that the place does not belong in this guide, we definitely want to hear about it. For example, if a place advertises nude-friendly policies that are not honored, we would want to find out more and possibly remove that place from this guide. If, however, your complaint concerns bad food, scratchy linens or surly hosts, then that laundry needs to be aired in an appropriate forum like Trip Advisor. As mentioned above, we do not have the wherewithal to be an opinion forum.