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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Old 28 Jun 2008
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T4A on Google Earth

I noticed the other day that Track4Africa now has potentially useful (ie: free) content on Google Earth 4.3 in the Sahara, including some routes from the Sahara book. Libyan Sahara is by far the best/most accurate: zoom in close enough on the Fezzan and wait a bit for the orange tracks (not the best colour out there) to appear. The purple or white highways are mostly correct (L6 is an exception).

Elsewhere the purple T4A 'main road' and white 'Metro/secondary road' designations are a bit batty. Bilma to Nguigmi a main road? It may lead to the same false expectations as using the Mich 953 did in the old days.

I notice Route M12 in Morocco is half Main road and half Metro/secondary (it was still mostly what they would call 'Off-Road Track' a couple of months back).

And some of the T4A 'fuel stop' information in Morocco did not match my recent observations either so I suppose it's not that much better than a paper map, but it's always fun to use GE.

To view it click:
Layers - Primary - More - T4A ... and then clicking T4A gives you even more options like fuel.

Like I say it can take time when zoomed right in for the orange dirt road routes to come up

Ch
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Last edited by Chris Scott; 1 Jul 2008 at 10:14.
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Old 28 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Actually, looking more closely the purple T4A 'main road' and white 'Metro/secondary road' designations are a bit batty.
Ch
...and Atar - Tidj, NDB - Atar in Mauri are 'main roads' apparently! Oh well, it's a try.
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Old 28 Jun 2008
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Oh well, it's a try.

This is true but it makes the user content of GE even more unreliable than it already is. I've seen pictures of places misplaced by 100s of kms.

As with the papers maps, in Mk at least you will be left wondering what to believe. The road up to Dades taken by coaches and merry motorhomers is an 'off road track' * but the Gorgelink route to Todra is a cushy metro/secondary! What are they on?

What a shame. They've approached me again a few months ago wanting 'Sahara content' to get T4A into northern Africa and I had it spelled out how very strrricht they are about publishing a route. It had to be verified by 2 independent assessors or smth. But maybe not for Google Earth.

Ch

* Correction: actually it's a top hierarchy orange 'National road' even after it turns to dirt over the Atlas. Similar colour to the brown 'track'. Pardon me.


Ch
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Last edited by Chris Scott; 28 Jun 2008 at 16:47. Reason: need to clean my glasses
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Old 28 Jun 2008
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Yes, it looks like a classic case of internet editing standards.

Going over Mauri again, in a country with essentially only a handful of surfaced roads, the designation is wrong in 80% of cases and some major roads/routes are missed entirely (no Eastern section of the Route D'Espoir for instance).

Makes it hard to trust the rest. Maybe we need another slow-burning superpower conflict to inject a bit of momentum back into African cartography ?
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Old 28 Jun 2008
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another slow-burning superpower conflict...

Bring it on! We're still benefitting from the good work they did last time each time we use a TPC or a Soviet/QV map.

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