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#1
MeCasa

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Hello everyone, Sept 13th I leave for Nepal via Delhi India. My intention is to ride the northern border of North East Nepal on a motorcycle. Please don't lecture me on the dangers as I'm well aqquainted and the tickets are paid for.

Since both information and/or maps are not readily available I started my search. My original discovery led to some 1:25 000 digital maps of Northern India, after looking at the entire map (huge on my laptop) I found a stamp from Berkely, I called their map library and spent some time on the phone with their cartographer, we discussed hiring a student to do my map work I needed but then he said "have you tried the Perry Casteneda Library at UT, if they have the maps you can do the work yourself".

I got no where on the site so I picked up the phone, after a period I was elated to learn that they not only had the Berkely maps but they also had the same map in 1:50 000 which I understand has even more detail. I talked to the Head Librarian and asked if I would be able to copy the maps and he said yes, I asked if I could use their equipment and he said 'not sure what you need', but if we don't have the capability somebody in the area should...Can I check the maps out to have the work done? No, but a student could. Could I hire a student to do it for me? Not sure, try it and see.

I know it was a long story but I NEED these maps. I would like both digital and physical maps, I realize that'll I'll have to break them up, do ya'll think you could teach me enough (I'm fairly sharp, tech wise also) or at least teach me enough to hire a student to do my work? I'll pay him fairly.

Good topography maps, strong GPS locater and a decent compass may save my life

Thanks
MeCasa

#2
Rob

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just to clarify, the 1:25k maps will have considerably more detail than the 1:50k.

#3
MeCasa

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just to clarify, the 1:25k maps will have considerably more detail than the 1:50k.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

OK, I thought as much possible which is why I mentioned it, he may have said easier to read or I may have just misunderstood

Hopefully someone will tell me what would be best for my usage

Thanks

PS: I may have posted in the wrong forum, if I am will someone please move me

#4
frax

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Why don't you just order some Indian/Nepalese maps? Or get there a few days earlier and stack up with maps on site and plan in detail there?
http://www.mapsofindia.com/ orEastView cartographic and don't forget to buy data for your GPS unit, like fugawi india/nepal

It is not like you are going to some extremely remote and unexplored area, and I would assume that the land surveys of Nepal and India to be thorough and good.
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#5
MeCasa

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Why don't you just order some Indian/Nepalese maps? Or get there a few days earlier and stack up with maps on site and plan in detail there?

Hmmm, where to start. I will be there early but it would be foolhardy/stupid to plan a trip from the ground in a strange land when I'm smart enough to plan ahead, I will however stay in Kathmandu long enough to try and validate what I have learned

http://www.mapsofindia.com/

To the best of my knowledge they don't sell maps of Nepal

EastView cartographic

They have some of the maps as does Omni but the cost to buy all of northern Nepal is very expensive

and don't forget to buy data for your GPS unit, like fugawi india/nepal

I'm not bringing that type of locator, I'm bringing a device that will read simple long/lat, everything I've read says that the map system on the type of software you mention is not only expensive but damn near worthless in Nepal

It is not like you are going to some extremely remote and unexplored area, and I would assume that the land surveys of Nepal and India to be thorough and good.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Where are you getting your information, this is one of the most remote places in the world with the roads hardly documented and only open a few months of the year not to mention an ongoing civil war.. So please explain yourself

If you are one of the regulars I hope this is not a deal where I don't get help because I didn't agree with you.. I will go to the college and do my map work without ya'lls advice, but it would be a lot easier if somebody gave me some hints of the difficulties involved and some suggestions

Thanks

#6
burwelbo

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Mecasa

So you are driving your motorcycle from Delhi to the Indian/Nepal border traveling towards Katmandu. If you are just looking for roads, Google Earth has lots of Quickbird Imagery covering southern Nepal. That could get you started with respect roads and trails. I also thought there were 1:100000 scale topo maps fro Eastview Cartographic. There is also a country road map. What else do you plan on doing (treking or just traveling on your motorcycle)? We were in Nepal last year and went to the Royal Chitwan National Park along the Indian border and then to Pokhara. I wouldn't worry to much about the Maoists. They just charge you a fee to cross into their territory (from what I was told). Have a good trip.

Bruce

#7
frax

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mecasa, I assumed that you were willing and ready to do a fair investment in this, which included buying/ordering maps and a good gps unit (to use it partly for navigation, not only for logging). After all you are talking about a longer motorcycle trip and hiring students. Regarding your comment -- I thought you were going to be traveling in India for the most part, hence the mapsofindia link (which I found after a quick googling).

I think my guess/assumption that the land surveys in Nepal (and India) would have a strong tradition seemed correct -- I think that was part of the British heritage. The maps are probably not extremely current though.

Have a good trip - I would love to go there, after reading Peter Hopkirk's the Great Game/url] (which is more about Central Asia, but anyways). In that book, surveying also played a big role.


I would start with some good map dealers/shops, google around (my hits were only examples), the Nepalese land survey, Nepalese tourist bureau. A quick look at the Dept of Survey shows that there should be 1:50k map sheets covering the whole souther border, if I am not mistaken...

Here is another link I found after a quick googling: [url=http://www.mapsworldwide.com/topographic_maps_786ss0.htm]Nepal maps at Maps WorldWide

When you mentioned digital maps, what do you mean then, if not data to be used in mapping software/gps -- do you mean scanned images and/or pdf files?
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#8
MeCasa

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Mecasa

So you are driving your motorcycle from Delhi to the Indian/Nepal border traveling towards Katmandu. If you are just looking for roads, Google Earth has lots of Quickbird Imagery covering southern Nepal. That could get you started with respect roads and trails. I also thought there were 1:100000 scale topo maps fro Eastview Cartographic. There is also a country road map. What else do you plan on doing (treking or just traveling on your motorcycle)? We were in Nepal last year and went to the Royal Chitwan National Park along the Indian border and then to Pokhara. I wouldn't worry to much about the Maoists. They just charge you a fee to cross into their territory (from what I was told). Have a good trip.

Bruce

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, riding to Kathmandu is simple, I'm heading North East out of Kathmandu, I'll skirt around the base of Everest and will ride as close to the Tibet/Chinese border as possible eventually coming out in Sikkim/Bhutan, I'm not sure I can cross Bhutan as they charge American's $200 a day just to be in the country. If I cannot traverse Bhutan I will drop down and come back up in Assam and spend some time in India's Seven Sister States if I can get entry permits

Getting to Kathmandu may be easy, riding the southern plains would be fairly easy, riding the Nothern border through the Himilayas is not easy any shape or form. Most roads are not mapped and are only navigable depending on landslides and high water crossings, if I hit a dead end I have to have the capability to navigate around Google maps would be great if there was internet connection which there is not.

Hard maps are a necessity, I'm no Magellan, but I can read a good quality topographic map, especially with the gps locator to give me my long/lat. The University of Texas has the maps for free, all I need to do is learn how to scan them and cut them into bite size chunks

Did you enjoy Nepal? I'm excited, I'm an avid adventure rider and this is my best trip yet, not to mention I'm getting old enough it soon will be one of my last, but not yet ;-)

Thanks

#9
MeCasa

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mecasa, I assumed that you were willing and ready to do a fair investment in this, which included buying/ordering maps and a good gps unit (to use it partly for navigation, not only for logging). After all you are talking about a longer motorcycle trip and hiring students.

My investment is already considerable, the only maps available are the survey maps, to buy all the maps I need would cost thousands for the same maps the University of Texas will let me scan for free and I can hire a college student for aound $100-$150 a day, still a considerable savings. I just need some advice on how to cut them up in bite size chuncks.

I think my guess/assumption that the land surveys in Nepal (and India) would have a strong tradition seemed correct -- I think that was part of the British heritage. The maps are probably not extremely current though.

No, they're not current, thus part of my problem, but they're the best we're allowed at this time although I'm sure the CIA has updated copies :lol:

I would start with some good map dealers/shops, google around (my hits were only examples), the Nepalese land survey, Nepalese tourist bureau. A quick look at the Dept of Survey shows that there should be 1:50k map sheets covering the whole souther border, if I am not mistaken...

The University of Texas Perry Casteneda Library has the full set of Northern Nepal survey maps on premises in both 1:25 and 1:50 and they'll let me scan and copy it's just that I've never worked with maps nor scanning equipment that large


When you mentioned digital maps, what do you mean then, if not data to be used in mapping software/gps -- do you mean scanned images and/or pdf files?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have some 1:25 digital maps of Kasmir now, by digital I mean they open in my computer with Irfanview, I also have some other maps that are pdf., one of my questions is what format should I try to use to install the UT survey maps in my computer as I plan on making both digital and paper maps.

I can email you or anybody the 1:25 maps I currently have to give you an idea

Thanks

#10
Kartograph

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Do you have or plan on buying and taking along a laptop or pda?

#11
burwelbo

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We loved our trip. It was one of the best we have done living in Saudi. I am sure you can't get into Bhutan without obtaining a visa prior to leaving. I understand that the Bhutan government only issues a certain number of Visas a year. You may want to check with some tourist companies in Nepal. The guy we had was very good and would probably be able to help with logistics.

#12
MeCasa

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Do you have or plan on buying and taking along a laptop or pda?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I live with a laptop never far away and even have my motorcycles in the USA set up with chargers via cigarette lighter plug to keep both the lappy, music players and camera charged. I had originally decided not to take a laptop as I really want to go light but I'm starting to change my mind as I know I won't write down my experiences without a laptop and I won't be able to upload my camera pics without a laptop as most internet cafe computers in India/Nepal still use Win98 which is not plug and play compatable hence no usb support.

So the short answer is yes, I believe I will take a laptop which is why I asked about possible digital/printable versions of maps

#13
MeCasa

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So far, so good. I contacted a Cartography Professor at the University of Texas and he's trying to find me a student who may be interested in some side work. He cut my heart out when he said "'normally I could find you ten students but...........schools' out for summer"

The prof seems like a square dude so I've got my fingers crossed


Ya ya, I know, it reads like an Alice Cooper song ;-)

#14
Kartograph

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Well, if you take a laptop with you things start to become easy:

1) get yourself a decent GPS Mouse, Bluetooth is standard now, but Cable mouse wil just do fine.

2) get yourself the maps in a Raster format ( I'd suggest bmp, tif, gif or png8). If a student will do scanning for you, he'll deliver raster maps.

3) get yourself a nice little Rastermap navigation Software, like:

OzieExplorer

There are other programs that do the trick, but look at Ozi, it's widely known and has many great tutorials and a decent sized community. Alternatives would be

FUGAWI
or
Glopus (german software)

A GPS Mouse will work with all of those programs. Only standalone GPS Receivers have to be checked for compatibility.

When you are interested in this setup (take a look at the Ozi Website, to check out if this is what you want), I may help you further.

#15
Matthew Hampton

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If you have GIS capabilities you might want to check out ICIMOD's MENRIS site. I think the data might be a little coarse (1:250k) for your use, but it is some free GIS data for Nepal and gives you the major routes.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com





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