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Finding Gold with Google Earth

August 13, 2011

Google Earth is a powerful user-friendly satellite imagery viewing program. It is a very useful tool for finding gold locations. Combined with the downloadable add-ons, Google Earth could easily be your main research tool for planning your gold prospecting adventures. I use this tool myself when plotting out my next prospecting trip to a new area. I have found myself using Google Earth with the add-ons I’m about to share with everyone almost daily. All of the following tools/resources are totally free!


The tool I apply 100% of the time when I am beginning to stake out a new area to prospect is called MineCache. This is an AMAZING resource for locating old gold mines, gold prospects, and confirmed gold occurrences.



As you can see, the normal Google Earth imagery is unaltered. MinceCache simply adds gold mine symbols to areas on the map where past or present gold mines are. You can click on the gold mine icon and it will display the following information on the mine:


  • Operation Type
  • Development Status
  • Primary commodities
  • Comments from other MineCache users (or post your own)

You can also view more mine details which includes the following:


  • Site Name
  • State
  • County
  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Year Discovered
  • Years in Production
  • Operation Type
  • Deposit Type
  • Production Size
  • Development Status
  • Primary Commodities
  • Secondary Commodities
  • Other Commodities


Simply visit and register your free account so you can download the tool. A tutorial for accessing the tool with Google Earth is located on the MineCache web page or you can simply click here.





After locating a gold-bearing area with MineCache, the next resource I use is E-maps Plus ( or This is another free tool that aides in finding the contact information for the land owner of the gold-bearing area you seek to prospect.


It is very important to seek permission from land owners before venturing out on their land. Most of the information on this site pertains to prospecting in the Southeast United States. Unlike the West Coast, Eastern United States land is PRIVATELY owned in exception of National Forests/Parks. Feel free to e-mail me on tips/advice on how to approach a land owner about asking permission. My methods have worked pretty well for me.


When you access the e-maps website, you will see a map of the United States with states highlighted. These are the states you can view land owner information. (NOTE: Since my last log in, I’ve noticed that nowhere near as many states are available as was a few weeks ago. Not sure if it’s an update and more will be added later. If someone knows another source please e-mail me and let me know so I can share with others.) Click on a state to access a county map of that state. The available counties will be highlighted. Zoom in to the area you wish to find out the owner’s information. If you zoom in enough on the new version of e-maps (you may have the option to use the older version in which this will not apply), you will see the owner’s name. Click the search icon in the top-right navigation bar and input the owner’s name to find the information you need.

The alternative method of achieving this information is to contact the tax assessor in the county you wish to prospect to get the information you seek. I have not tried this method and it may not be free.



Optional Add-Ons


Geologic Maps of the United States

  • This will show you the different types of rock formations in any given area


Topographical Maps

  • These can be useful to view the elevation of the areas you are going to prospect to better prepare yourself for the hike in needed. google Earth uses elevation at the point of the mouse wherever you scroll, but a topographic map is a little easier to use in this manner.


I hope my followers enjoy this post. Please send everyone you know that prospects to my blog for this and more information. Enjoy!


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One Comment
  1. I use all the time to. Best way to plan trips.

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