And now you can use satellite maps to explore some of the rough details of the Arabian Peninsula to better appreciate Lehi's journey. I have received email from K.C. Kern (the man behind KCKern.com - a very interesting site) showing the results of his explorations with Google Maps. Of course, this resource does not offer the resolution needed to see the same dramatic details found in the photography of In the Footsteps of Lehi by Warren P. Aston and Michael K. Aston (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Comp., 1994) or Lehi in the Wilderness by George Potter and Richard Wellington (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Inc., 2003), but it's a great way to get a feel for the lay of the land and the plausibility of Lehi's route.
Here's an excerpt from the email by K.C. Kern, used with permission:
I have something you might consider using on your site.Let me know what you think. Any additional suggestions are also welcome.
Based on my best research, through Google Maps, I've located some major points on the Arabian peninsula that map Lehi's trail.
It could provide your visitors with some hands-on interactive experiences with Lehi's journey, as well as a "see for yourself"-type thing.
Here they are:
Valley of Lemuel
Wadi Sayq (Bountiful 1)
Dhofar (Bountiful 2)
Salah/Dofar area: http://local.google.com/local?f=q&hl=en&q=+17%C2%B0+0%2752.66%22N++
I especially enjoyed looking at the patterns of the sand dunes in the large Empty Quarter section northeast of Nahom and the smaller section southeast of Nahom. Turning due east from much above or below Nahom (also known as Nehhem on a map at the University of Sana'a, and the area associate with the ancient tribe of Nihm) would have resulted in wading across vast stretches of sand, with little hope of survival. Thank goodness Lehi's group had the Liahona and knew where to turn (or, for those who consider the Book of Mormon to be a fraud, thank goodness Joseph had access to an early beta version of Google Earth and could select a route that made topographical sense).
Today, Google Earth. Tomorrow, Google Kolob? Sign me up as a beta tester.