help in using Google earth overlay images of civil war maps


Hero Member
Jan 29, 2018
North Atlanta
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Equinox 800, 6" coil, stock coil, Coiltek 10 x 5 Nox, ProFind-35 pinpointer, Simplex(sold), Vanquish 540(sold), Vanquish 44. sold: AT Pro with stock coil, Nel Thunder, Garrett 5" x 8" coil, Garrett C
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Relic Hunting
I am using Union created maps of 1864 of the Confederate and Union positions around Atlanta. I usually find three reference points like confluences of two creeks to adjust the Civil War Maps to Google Earth.

I am just wondering how accurate these will show the fortifications on the overlay of Google Earth?

anyone have experience with this and know the answer?


Bronze Member
Apr 17, 2011
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Garrett AT Pro, XP Deus, DetectorPro Headhunter & BlissTool
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
I have used Google Earth with overlay maps on a few occasions and while it is helpful, you have to remember you are using hand drawn maps which are quite old. You'll have to either shrink or stretch the old maps to fit as best as possible on Google Earth. You might have to rotate the overlay as well. And chances are high that no matter what you do, the overlay will not line up perfectly. Just as you stated, use any permanent details to help you locate the places you're looking for. Have fun with it and good luck.


Full Member
May 4, 2016
Chester County, PA
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Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Ideally you want at least 3 true reference points not in a line with each other. It works very well if you have these and line them up perfectly. Of course, all bets are off with a hand-drawn map; if the source is inaccurate, not much you can do. Also, when first creating the overlay, try to get the size of the initial box to cover the same amount of ground as the map you are overlaying. It makes the process much easier and more accurate once you add the map and start stretching and rotating. It is a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it it works great.

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