Off Road Races in Dakar and Baja

Dakar2006 Race Track in Google EarthAn off road enthusiast from the Google Earth Community (who calls himself TommyAfrika) forwarded me some forum threads dedicated to off road races. The first is for the Dakar 2006 which is probably the most grueling off road race in the world from Lisbon, Portugal to Dakar in Senagal in western Africa. The Dakar race goes through some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet. Unfortunately, the Dakar 2006 did not choose to publish GPS coordinates for the positions of its racers. So, all we have so far is an image overlay and waypoints of the course. Here’s the forum thread which includes some good links to videos describing the course – here’s a documentary video (English – other languages available in the forum) about the Dakar 2006. The Dakar 2006 is currently in day 9 out of the 16 days it is estimated it will take to complete the course.
Another off road race held in November, 2005 was the Tecate Baja 1000 rally. Here’s an overlay showing the course of the Baja 1000 rally , and here is the GEC forum thread about it.
These races need to publish their GPS data so you can follow them in Google Earth like the current round-the-world sailing race called the Volvo Ocean Race.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Wired magazine describes why the rally doesn’t provide even it’s drivers full GPS points for the rally route.
    “… the two-week stage race navigates remote terrain via a written book of directions and a GPS crippled to function solely as a compass. (To prevent shortcuts, the route is tagged with hidden GPS waypoints that appear only when the driver gets within a radius of three miles.)”,72408-0.html?tw=wn_index_2

Leave a Reply