Thursday, September 30, 2010

From Jason...

Afternoon all and welcome to my personal hell……

I have been working over the last few years (trust me it feels that way) to generate some detailed mappage and systems out of Tony’s initial high level tour plan.

We are in for an _interesting_ experience in terms of the roads (loose usage of the term) & finding our way through Nepal. There are several areas where Google Maps can’t actually generate a route… Had to do a fair bit of research on those ones to ensure we can actually find our way. A certain ‘highway’ on the way into Kathmandu turns into a ‘dirt track’ but I found numerous sites that talk about motorbike treks across that track and some comments about people that have done it in October and they got through OK.

I will be sending another email with the initial map pack, it’s a word document some 13.5Mb big so some of you may not get it as your ISP/mail server may not allow files that big  Please email me if you don’t get it this afternoon, and check your SPAM folders as well

In addition to the maps we are all going to need to have some form of GPS co-ordinate type ability…. All of the maps have Latitude, Longitude reference markers for the overnight rally points.

For those of you not full bottle on GPS & Lat/Long type stuff we need to get a baseline of knowledge into your heads as these Lat/Long references are for when it goes wrong and we need everyone to understand how to use them. Most of us are taking an iPhone, I have reviewed about 6 different apps in the vain attempt to get GPS maps onto the phones so they work without 3G, no luck for Nepal

The best option is an app called OffMaps, it costs $2.49 and allows you to download a detailed maps, and even a customised one of Delhi  The main benefit is that you can type in a Lat/Long marker off the printed maps and it will drop a pin and show you where you are in reference to that location…. Gents, this isn’t really optional, you need it! If you need help with the app downloading the maps, please let me know, you should be up for ~500mb worth of maps so make sure your on a wi-fi link

For those of you without an iPhone, 2 options, buy the cheapest GPS unit you can find, I saw little ones in OfficeWorks for under $100 but make sure you can enter a Lat/Long co-ordinate in the form of 27.702, 85.317 (Kathmandu) or make sure you buddy op with someone with an iPhone…

The maps should be self explanatory, I have a Google account and can modify the route/images as required. Link to the map is