Just a brief note about mapping Tibet. The first step is to research cities/habitations and sort out the regions within Tibet, based on geography and historical references. Here's my list of towns in Tibet:
The reader can see I've carved off one section already, a region that covers the upper valley of the Indus River in far western Tibet. Guge was conquered by the Kingdom in Ladakh after 1630 (or so, details are sketchy).
I don't have a map yet, I won't for a bit, though these are easier to make because, hey, no coast. For the moment I just want to bitch about starting in China and the problems that brings.
Since naming (and I talked about this before) is a free-for-all, I'm having some trouble. I have three atlases I'm working from, Google Earth, the site fallingrain.com (which gives the lat-long-elevation details) and wikipedia . . . and guess what? None of them match.
The names are listed as different, or an atlas has the city marked and named but Google Earth shows no place at that location, or there is a place there but under a completely different name and nothing on the web connects the two names together. As always, there are many listed towns in fallingrain with the same name, often none of them having coordinates anywhere near where the map specifies the place should be. And so on.
It is worse than I feared. Apparently, Pinyin has broken down so completely that no one can be sure what the correct Pinyin name is for a place. In several cases I found multiple names, with x's for s's or z's for s's, where both names were listed as Pinyin though they did not agree.
No, I did not keep an example. Try Shigatse, that was was a fun one, or Ch'ung-te, which can't agree on whether there should be a hyphen or an apostrophe or if the name shouldn't Qamdo or whatever. I have it listed as Chamdo, above, but that is by no means the "real" name. I don't think anyone has agreed on it's real name.
Perhaps the whole thing is a scheme by the Chinese military intelligence to hopelessly confuse invasion by ensuring that no two maps made by the outside world can possibly agree.
Anyway, there are several places on the list for which I have no proof whatsoever (Amkyonyang) even exist; the coordinates shown for it are actually for a place called Amjogxung . . . I have no idea if these are the same place, but it is close to where one of my atlases lists the place. The internet ~ the entire internet ~ has never heard of the atlas spelling I have.
Which is just weird.