Every day I come across people who ask about a route in Ladakh, which does not exists on paper or in reality! And each time it is due to the fact that they are looking at Google Maps, instead of real maps. In fact it has gotten to a point that I don’t even ask which maps they looked at and simply tell them to stop looking at Google Maps!
Take for instance the below screen shot of Zanskar Valley in Google Maps, which shows a road going from Padum in Zanskar Valley to somewhere on Manali – Leh highway, way ahead of Darcha, which then merges with National Highway 10 (not shown in below screenshot). A highway which runs between Fazilka in Punjab near the Indo-Pak Border and Gurgaon!
Seriously if you are at all serious about planning your trip to Ladakh, then please either get a real map from Nest and Wings or checkout the maps created Bharat, which are much more detailed than anything you will be able to find on net or in bookstore and contain roads which actually exist in real life!
Here are links to map created by Bharat:
And this one, once again created by Doc Bharat.
Just goes to show that at least in India, there is no replacement for actual paper maps, which too at times are wrong or over optimistic, so always check with some one before try and head out on a route which might just turn out to be a trekking path or a dead end!
Do you have thoughts/information on the map quality (for Ladakh region) of:
Bing / Yahoo
MapmyIndia maps (GPS)
Ashu, Bing/Yahoo maps are just as bad as Google Maps.
As for MapmyIndia, well it is slightly better, but it only has limited routing in Ladakh as per my knowledge.
The reason that the maps are not correct are :
1. They are based on the DCW (Digital Chart of the World) data. This was an exercise conducted by ESRI for CIA, and was the first attempt to digitally chart the WORLD. Most of the maps are based on paper maps of 50’s and 60’s.
2. DCW data is now a free ware, but requires and ESRI product (Arc View, ArcGIS etc) to view. You can get the data from “GISDATADEPOT”.
3. As new road segments are constructed, they are not reflected in DCW data.
4. If any body has GPS track data, I can incorporate this into the DCW data base which I am maintaining. I can them supply derived maps for all interested parties.
Yogesh/Ajoy – Thanks for your replies.
So my Garmin GPS unit looks more or less out for navigation. I might upload KML files of other travellers on my mobile phone.
In case you can get a track log (say at 10-50m interval), I can incorporate them in the GIS I maintain and generate Maps for the “Posterity”.
In fact every body is welcome to send me their track logs along with way-point data. We can thus build up a comprehensive GIS data base and generate maps for regions having No/Wrong Maps, which will help the user community navigate.
As I write my own software the order of data is immaterial, but should contain at least the following
– Resolution (if possible)
– No of Satellites visible (if possible)
My son had a garmin (which he lost!) And we generated detailed Road Maps, which when superimposed on Google Maps was bang-on the roads shown (within tolerances of the orthorectification e.i adjustment of position due to height)
Ashu, you can look for the GPS trails in the following travelogue, http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-f9/destination-unknown-t9814-56/#post100296