Is "trace the route" in the following ambiguous between a finger-moving action and actual driving, walking, or otherwise moving along a route in the real world?
John traced the route on the map.
I'd appreciate your help.
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To “trace” (in this sense) means to mark a path.
If you trace a route with a pencil/pen, you would be drawing that path on the map. This is the same usage as a tear tracing a path on your cheek: it leaves a trail behind it just like a pen/pencil on paper.
If you trace a route with your finger, that isn’t going to leave a visible mark, but someone watching the action will “see” the indicated path in their mind, so we can use it for this as well.