Monday, July 21, 2008

Topo maps of the Hindu Kush Mountains

As I was planning my upcoming field mission, I became distracted when seeing the topographical maps of the area. 7455m! that's over 24,500ft! too bad I won't be able to visit Nowshak (written in Russian as Нушак ), the highest mountain in Afghanistan. The black/red dash line is the international border with Pakistan (The Northern Areas, a region of Kashmir) south (below) of it.

And speaking of, noticed everything IS written in Russian? Yep, these are 1:200,000 scale Soviet issued topo maps of Afghanistan.

The Hindu Kush is the westernmost extension of the Pamir, the Karakorum, and the Himalayas. The name, Hindu Kush means 'Hindu Killer', some believe it's due to the history when Indian slaves were dying as they were being transported across the range to slave markets in central Asia. (there is some crazy history in this area.)

This area is where I know some of are schools are located. I need to match them up with our GPS coordinates on record. We have a database with all of the school's GPS coordinates, roads and other landmarks and will plot them out on Google Earth, it's pretty cool. But because this mission is in such a rugged terrain and so few people go to, our security manager requested more detailed maps of the area, hence why I'm looking up topographical maps. The black/red dash line is the international border of Pakistan (North-West Frontier Province) to the right.

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