Google Earth is a fantastic tool – or toy, if you like – to present and view routes. You can zoom in, in many instances so close you can see houses, trees, cars; you can also tilt the view, rotate it and have a 3D effect. It is fun, but if you don’t know where the routes are it’s very much meaningless. However, if you download the files you can see the routes marked in Google Earth, with corresponding photos attached to many of the waypoints along the way. If you have The Route Guide as well, you also have the route descriptions. It is a great way to choose a route and plan your trek or safari in the Sinai.
Please note: while the routes are visible on the downloadable files, there is an issue and the photos do not show up. We are working to solve the issue, and updated versions will be available sometime in the autumn of 2016. Please check back to get the new versions.
|sinai-routes.kml or sinai-routes.kmz
Last updated: 14/05/2014
How to view files in Google Earth
First you have to have Google Earth installed on your computer. It is a free software and if you don’t yet have it, you can download it from here: earth.google.com
Then download either the kml or the kmz file – they are basically the same, the later containing the first in a zipped file. You can use both exactly the same way. Once you have the file on your computer, open it and save it in Google Earth – that’s all, now you can see the routes and waypoints. It’s a bit overwhelming at first (more than 500 waypoints!) but all the treks have been organised into folders and you can turn them off and view only one certain route. If you click on the green waypoint markers you can see a photo made of, at or near that point.
The trekking and camel safari routes contain alternative routes, which means the waypoint numbers are not always following each other – refer to the route description in The Route Guide. The number of each waypoint on the map in the guide corresponds to the number in the route description, as well as to the downloadable files. However, in the later case the trek number has been attached before the waypoint number, so as an example, waypoint 1 of the first trek is marked as Trek01-01, and so on.
Since the 4×4 programmes consist of circuits without forks and alternative routes, it is self evident that one number follows the other. Similarly to the trekking routes, the waypoints are marked by the circuit number and the waypoint number, so for example CR1-01 is the first waypoint of the first 4×4 circuit.
LEGEND (Trekking and camel safari routes)
Apart from three all the 500+ waypoints have been checked and verified, they are as accurate as the GPS device that recorded them. In some cases I didn’t have GPS records and got them courtesy of Dave Lucas (expeditionconsultancy.com) with whom I walked quite a few of the treks together. Other treks had to be re-walked and some missing alternative routes have been checked as well. There are still a handful of stretches that haven’t been checked, but they are also as accurate as it can get: the end coordinates are known and they have been described by others. Below is the explanation of the colour codes:
“Mapped walking/camel routes” have been checked and are based on available GPS data; “Unmapped walking/camel routes” are verified as a common walking/camel route by others, but I didn’t walk it myself and don’t have GPS data; “Mapped car routes” are part of treks/camel safaris where I suggest to use a car, they are based on available GPS data; “Asphalt roads” are as marked by Google Earth.
Note: There is no legend for the 4×4 circuits. All car routes have been marked with a red line regardless if it is an asphalt or dirt road, and green lines indicate walking trails.