Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Maps

Since I was talking about Google Earth a bit ago, let me continue. Google Earth is a great program. It lets you see the world from a whole different perspective. You should try it out. There are versions in several languages, even Korean,

Unfortunately, the images are only as good as the data and, for South Korea, the data is certainly lacking. Look at this ...

The left is Las Vegas, the right is Andong

On the left is the image data for where I grew up, Las Vegas, USA. On the right is the image data for where I live now, Andong, South Korea. Now not all of Korea looks like Andong. The major cities have some very nice high resolution imagery. Unfortunately most of South Korea is pretty low resolution (a lot of North Korea is pretty hi-res, though).

And it is not just image data; road data suffers also. Most western countries have excellent road data which displays in Google Earth and Maps. Even some eastern countries have good data. In fact, South Korea is one of the few industrialized nations which doesn't have good road data. Heck, even India has good road data. Sure you can see some roads in Korea, but what is displayed (as of this post) is rather laughable. Only the major highways are shown and then even not all of those. And the positions for those roads are only good if you are viewing form about 250 km up in the sky (Actually, now, no road data is being displayed for Korea.).

Part of the reason for the great road data in the USA and Canada is the fact that information about the roads is gathered by the government using public funds, so the data becomes  public property. In India they have the legacy of British colonization from which they inherited a system of data organization. Also Google is working with the local population in India to help update road data in some cities.

I figure I can help Google in the same way. Use my local knowledge of the place to provide far better maps of Korea than what is available at the moment. Well, at least my small portion of Korea. So here it is. I give you Andong, with roads (and rivers and lakes and more).

 I've even got data for when you zoom in close.

 In addition to the road data, some lakes, rivers, trails, and interesting locations are there for you to see. This was all done mostly through capturing location data with my GPS receiver as I rode around the city on my bicycle. Other information was entered from scanned maps and such. I am offering it here for anyone to use. Take the data, use it, modify it, do whatever you want with it. Just make sure you read the Creative Commons copyright information I have for this site and follow the restrictions. Here is the Google earth file for you to download.

KMZ files require Google Earth


A few notes about the data ... the rivers, lakes, and streams were all taken from scanned map data, so possibly the outlines and waterways may not match up exactly with the images from Google Earth since the image data is from a different time period. Every road or trail shown is passable on a bicycle and most of them are drivable. However, paths listed as trails would likely be bike or walking only. Unpaved roads may be just that or they may be paved; even so you should probably treat them as trails because they are usually single lane farm roads in poor condition. Pedestrian roads, one way roads, restricted roads or intersections and similar are not listed as such. This is just path data. As always, I just provide you with the data. What you do with it is your business. I can not be held responsible if you get into trouble using the data from this site.

Now you may be saying to yourself... "Wow, this is a great resource. Now if I could only put this on my Garmin GPS receiver it would be really useful." Well you can because that is the really the whole reason I collected the data in the first place.

Here is the source file, Andong-Area-with_points.MP, for GPSMapedit. Take it, correct it, add to it.

If you would rather just have the image file to use with SendMap, here you go. Andong-Area-with_points.img

You should right-click those files and choose "Save as ..." to download. The data is probably in its final for. I doubt I will be making any additions to it. You can always find it here, or have a look at Mapcenter were you can find lots of map data. In fact, you might want to use the img instead of the one here. The one at Mapcenter has POI (points of interest) indexing.

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At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Robert,

I read with much interest your article about maps for Garmin GPS devices. I am an expat living in Korea (Busan), avid cyclist and enthousiastic GPS user. Please see my website about bicycling in Korea:

I am trying to learn how to make maps, for use in the 'Seoul - Busan cycling routes' which I maintain. To start with, I would like to load your Andong map. But I have no idea how I can handle the file with extension .img in order to get a map in the Garmin (Legend Cx) display. I have MapSource and today I downloaded GPS Trackmaker. Can you help me a bit further or direct me to a website where I can get the correct information?


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