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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 31 Jul 2012
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South Korea Garmin Maps: City Nav or OSM?

I will be South Korea in the next month and am looking for some maps for my GPS (Garmin Montana 650).

I am chasing some mapping recomendations.

Are the Open Street Maps or Garmin Maps better in people's experience?

Do you need a firmware upgrade to support Korean script with Garmin maps like do you for Cyrillic when using RoR?

Are Korean road signs in Latin script or Korean only? (I am assuming the later at this stage). I can do Cyrilic to Latin and vis versa on fly most of the time, but I think I would struggle with any of the Alphabets from that part of Asia.

Last edited by craig.iedema; 31 Jul 2012 at 16:28.
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Old 31 Jul 2012
seouljoe's Avatar
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90% of the signs have English dubbing.
OSM have Korean script. No firmware upgrade needed.
Suggest you read Riding Pointers in Korea.. On this board. I will be in Korea before 10th of Aug.
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Old 31 Jul 2012
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Thanks I have run through most it and will do a refresher before we arrive.

We will arrive on Aug 25 from Vlad. I would love to catch up and get an idea of what to see. I quite uneducated on this part of the world.

Is OSMs coverage good enough?
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Old 26 Aug 2012
ame ame is offline
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Hi there,

I live in Korea and I am an OSM contributor. I see that you probably arrived yesterday, but I hope I can still give you some useful information.

I can't answer your question about using OSM data on your specific GPS, but I guess by now you will have tried it out.

In Korea, most roadsigns (destinations and street names) are written in Korean and English. Some of the instructional signs (warnings or restrictions) are Korean only, but it should be obvious from context what they are trying to tell you. Oh, and the motorways (red/blue shield) are toll roads. The 'national roads' (blue oval) are a high-grade, free alternative in most areas.

Regarding coverage, it's not too bad. OSM Korea is mostly routable, and most of the major roads are present and connected. Some of the smaller roads are not present. Also, as you will see, there is a significant amount of road construction happening all over the country, with some roads being upgraded or re-routed, and new roads being added. It's tricky for OSM volunteers to keep on top of this, but every day the map gets better.

There aren't too many POIs in the database, and some of them may be out of date. Also, Korea changed its street address system a couple of years ago. OSM Korea does not have many old-style or new-style addresses yet, so you may only be able to search using POI name.

If you *do* use OSM data during your trip I'd be very keen to hear your opinion of the coverage and accuracy (good, bad, or mixed), which I can pass on to the Korean OSM community.

Have an enjoyable time in Korea!

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Old 27 Aug 2012
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Unfortunately my bike died in Russia and is staying here for good. So I wont be using OSM or anything else in Korea.
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Old 27 Aug 2012
ame ame is offline
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Oh dear. I am very sorry to hear that. Good luck with whatever you do next.
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Old 27 Aug 2012
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OSM in Korea

Hi Andrew

We're in Korea (Andong) at the moment and we are using OSM on our Garmin Montana. It's definitely better than the Garmin maps we arrived with. As you say, there is a lot of road construction going on but we've had no problems with it so far. Until they stop making new roads, there will always be routing issues but nothing serious.

We're here until the end of next week so will let you know if we come up against any major problems with it.

We've used OSM for our trip to Africa and again since we left the UK on this trip so a big thanks to all the contributors of OSM for making our journey so far an awful lot easier

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