An image of GCM. An urban area of Detroit.
An image of GCM. An urban area of Detroit.

Zenrin Co Ltd announced that it aims to improve and sell map data of overseas cities (outside Japan) for car navigation systems. The announcement was made at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, which is open to the public from Oct 27 to Nov 11.

The company will advance into foreign markets probably because the demand for map data of Japan for car navigation systems will hit the ceiling in the future.

Specifically, Zenrin will develop and sell GCMs (Guidable City Model), map data composed of detailed 2D maps and 3D digital maps, specialized for urban areas of big cities. Beginning with urban areas such as Berlin in Germany, Paris in France and New York in the US, the company will build maps for more than 40 major cities in North America and more than 40 major cities in Europe.

Currently, in Japan, Zenrin is making GCMs for a total of 18 urban areas, 23 wards in Tokyo and 17 government-designated cities (Sapporo, Sendai, Saitama, Chiba, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Niigata, Shizuoka, Hamamatu, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Sakai, Kobe, Hiroshima, Kitakyusyu, Fukuoka).

Zenrin is the first company in the industry to build map data with 3D digital maps for car navigation systems used in Europe and the US, the company said. GCMs can seamlessly magnify and demagnify the 2D detailed maps and 3D digital maps. Also, they can instruct drivers to change lanes, making it easy for drivers to turn right or left.