English vs Local Language Maps

Over the last 2 months I invested a load of time to optimize the language / codepage handling of the OpenMTBMaps and VeloMaps.

I had originally implemented a very complicated system trying to make any map also usable for non native speakers of the local language - or people not able to read e.g. arabic or kyrillic. In the end this was a rather big mess even though it kinda worked for many countries.

Now I've changed this - there are local language maps - which are in local language and local script - as well as maps in english for any country that does not primarily use latin script.

Also all continent maps (except Antarctica and North America which are anyhow english speaking) are now available in English or local Language. South-America/Central America english maps will be available for download starting tomorrow.

The theory of how it should work is laid out below - if you find things not working drop a comment. Especially if you find OSM keys which are not implemented yet and would help in improving the map translations.

Map Updates:

Maps that are not available in English - will be updated weekly as before. All maps which are also available in English language - will be updated biweekly alternating between update in English in week 1, and update in local language in week 2 and so forth.

Who needs Unicode maps - a reminder:

Garmin blocked reading in free unicode maps about 2 years ago in their newest devices. However you can look around in the grey areas of the internet and you will find firmwares for basically all those devices unblocking the devices not reading in free unicode maps. This is a small part of the firmware taken out. If you use those changed firmwares only to display free unicode maps - it should be legal at least in European Union. It would not be legal to use those firmwares in order to display "pirated" Garmin original maps. In general of course for countries where latin is not primarily used unicode maps will be superior!

Please note: I will not help you in finding such firmwared. You can use google to find out more about this.

Both Unicode and Non Unicode are available in local and English:

Unicode local language maps: These maps use local language and local script - additionally for POI search for cities usually it's possible to use English as well. So the city Moscow in Russia will display as Москва however you can find it in the POI search also by searching for Moscow (and actually also by German Moskau). The address search will only work in local language - so you need to type: Москва as city in address search. In POI search Москва, Moscow or Moskau is all possible.

Unicode english language maps: These maps use English as label whenever possible (meaning in OSM database). If no English translation is available the maps tries to use English transcription from OSM database. If also no transcription exists - the map will show local language names.

POI search is possible in English, local Language and German language. Adress search is possible in English whenever English exists in OSM - else in local language.

Moscow will be used as a city for address search. POI search Moscow, Moskau or Москва is findable.

Non Unicode local language maps: These maps use local codepage (excpet for Chinese and Japanese where Garmin does not offer a non unicode codepage that can display the characters) and local naming. POI search is possible in English, German and local language.

Moscow in address search will be found under Moscow only. In POI search it can be found under Moscow, Moskau or Москва (as kyrillic codepage supports enough character to spell moscow also in latin)

Non Unicode english maps: These maps are in latin only. Maps uses English wherever available in OSM, if not then Transcription from OSM, if also not available a machine transcription is used - which is a bit faulty however!

Address Search is only possible in latin script - and often not working as you cannot guess the automatic transcription used for a streetname. As city names in OSM tend to exist also in English or proper transcription address search for a city or POI search usually works still okay. POI search in local script is not possible.

Moscow can be found under Moscow or Moskau - but not Москва


6 comments to English vs Local Language Maps

  • Mfgutmann

    Ich habe sowohl die Unicode- als auch die Landessprachenversion der Karte von Nepal (inc. Konturlinien) in Basecamp und daraus dann auf einem Etrex30x (2 Jahre alt) installiert. In beiden Fällen meldet das etrex30x nach dem Einschalten beim Laden der Karten: nicht autorisiert – Verkäufer fragen. Wie kann ich die Karte von Nepal mit Höhenlinien auf dem etrex30x zum Laufen bringen?

  • Mithrandir

    gibt es von Afrika überhaupt bereits eine non-Unicode Karte? Sowohl in der Rubrik “Local Language Maps” als auch bei “English Maps” steht hinter der Afrika-Karte ein (Unicode) und in Basecamp wird mir die angebliche Englsih Map auch mit dem Appendix “_UC” für Unicode angezeigt. Mein Garmin GPSmap 64s erkennt daraus extrahierte Karten leider nicht (mehr). Wie komm ich da drum herum?

    Beste Grüße,

    • extremecarver

      Ja – einfach auf den Non Unicode Header auf der Download Seite klicken, es gibt 4 Versionen. Unicode/Non Unicode und die jeweils in lokaler Sprache bzw English/International.

  • angy54

    Dear Sirs,
    I was wondering if somewhere there is a map legend with the meaning of the different track signs on the maps.

    Thank you
    Best regards

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