Kathmandu and Washington DC

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, as it seems pretty interesting to me. Plus, I love maps. Having moved to Kathmandu and getting a feel for the geography and people has been interesting, but I’ve often wondered just how it compares to what I’ve been accustomed up until now. Google and Wikipedia to the rescue.
Some Stats:
Washington, D.C.
Elevation: 0-409 ft (0-125 m)
Area: 68.3 sq miles (177 km sq)
Population: 600,000~ (2009)

Kathmandu
Elevation: 4593ft (1400 m)
Area: 19.6 sq miles (50.67 km sq)
Population: 1,000,000 (2009) but estimates are over 3,000,000 for the current year as official census data is estimated to be flawed conservatively. The below overlay shows DC’s capital beltway overlaid in Grey onto Kathmandu. Ring road (the local “beltway”) is shown in red.
Kathmandu with DC's Capital beltway overlaid
Anyone who has spent any time in DC will tell you how bad rush hour is. Good thing there aren’t as many cars here, just motorcycles in abundance. Several times the population density and a third of the area. And roads that make DC’s potholes look like a joke.

Kathmandu's Ring Road overlaid onto Fairfax VA
Kathmandu's Ring Road overlaid onto Fairfax VA.

Here’s another overlay of Kathmandu’s ring road onto the Fairfax VA area. Obviously Fairfax is already a higher traffic speed area than DC because of the type of area; less urban lower density. It still throws things into perspective though. Consider that I don’t leave the inside of Ring Road…except perhaps once a month. Fairfax County (much larger than the area shown) has a population of a million and change…again, about a third of that of Kathmandu.

another overlay onto Nepal
FFX VA route 66 and highway 81 to Harrisonburg overlaid onto area between Kathmandu (above Patan) and Pokhara

Lastly, this overlay shows the drive from Fairfax VA to roughly Harrisonburg VA, a 2+ hour drive at speed. The map onto which I’ve overlaid it is the distance between Kathmandu (just above Patan in the scheme of things) to Pokhara, a popular tourist destination. The roads are such that one typically flies between the cities in a puddle jumper (a 30 minute flight), but one can also take the 6-8 hour drive.

It’s all about roads. Very cool stuff.

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