News received yesterday is that Auke Koopmans has passed away. He was extremely well known in the region for his GPS maps & general touring knowledge of Thailand & Laos. Auke was the one who got me into GPS mapping in 2004; and we once had an extremely good personal friendship & working arrangement. It appears as if he was found unconscious in his parked car on the Mekong road between Chiang Khan & Nong Khai. He was taken to Nong Khai hospital & died not long after. He went peacefully & doing what he loved, driving his car, and mapping by the Mekong - his passion. Always a gentleman & a compassionate man, Auke helped many riders & people directly. His GPS maps I am sure have helped hundreds of riders come to tour North Thailand & Laos. His absence will leave a vacuum that will be difficult to be filled, such was his contribution to the community. Auke will be deeply missed by many. My condolences to Auke's family & close friends. RIP Auke.