Browsing Google maps site reveal some strange structures inside one of the dry rivers in Egypt near Quesser , what is really interesting is that those structures do not appear on Bing maps .

Searching the internet does not shed light on the subject, also there are no photos present on the site. What could those structures be and why they appear on Google maps only?


If those structures have been built somewhere in between the two years window. What could those structures be? Is it possible to build structure like this in a given time span at a place like this or are there more structures like this in the world?

If this structure serves as a bridge, I don't see any roads leading to it.

closed as off-topic by blah238, PolyGeo, Fezter, Devdatta Tengshe, Simbamangu Mar 25 '14 at 5:07

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    There is a 2 year difference with imagery Bing maps [2012] and Google Maps [2014] - so construction of a structure dam,tunnel could of been completed. – Mapperz Mar 24 '14 at 21:10
  • 5
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about geography trivia: meta.gis.stackexchange.com/q/3416/753 – blah238 Mar 24 '14 at 22:58

For starters these are two different sources of imagery - so the images were taken at two different times by two different sources.

Google Source

enter image description here

Bing Source

enter image description here

Second, the Google imagery source appears to be from 2014. Whereas the Bing imagery is from 2012. It is possibly the feature you are seeing was erected in that time.

For example, I see a bridge like feature in the 2014 Google imagery, but not the 2012 Bing imagery:

Google Google Image of Area

Bing Bing Image of Area

  • ok , so those structures have been built somewhere in between the two years window . What could those structures be ? is it possible to build structure like this in a given time span at a place like this ? are there more structures like this in the world ? – Alexander Mar 24 '14 at 21:19
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    Alexander, these are great questions. However, this is NOT the forum to ask them in. Personally, I think it appears to be some type of bridge. It does cross a major river so that is my best guess. I could not begin to ponder the abilities of eastern Egypt construction groups, the purposes for their projects, and where similar objects exist in the world. If it is a bridge, yes, these exist in other parts of the world. – evv_gis Mar 24 '14 at 21:23
  • What other sources of information could i try to find more info on the subject ? – Alexander Mar 24 '14 at 21:26
  • Alexander, I am not sure. I will have to defer to someone who has more knowledge of the area. – evv_gis Mar 24 '14 at 21:28
  • Another structure goo.gl/maps/1w9Oa – Mapperz Mar 24 '14 at 21:30

It appears to be a check dam or similar type of flood control structure. They help to prevent channeling and slow flows during storm events. There are lots of ways to construct them - it may be as simple as mounding up soil and covering it with a erosion control fabric as appears the case in Mapperz example or as complex as full concrete with footing and anchor wall construction as appears in the original examples. Construction time varies with method and available equipment and manpower. Two years is certainly feasible.

If you look west of Mapperz example, you can see another site with equipment present where two major channels join, and another of the structures on the northern channel. It appears in that case, the work is being done to protect the canal, fields, and other habitation between that confluence and the Nile River a few kilos west. These types of structures are common throughout the world, particularly in arid areas prone to flash flooding.

Welcome to the world of photo interpretation. :)

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    +1 These are concrete dams used to reduce the impact of flash floods, which are very common in arid regions on the coast of the Red Sea. Because of the river gradient, water from a flood event will have to fill each 'section' before it can spill over into the next. This increases the time it takes for water to reach the inhabited area, which in this case is the town of Quseer. They are essentially attempting to remove the 'flash' part of a flash flood. – Radar Mar 24 '14 at 22:12

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