South Korea to construct Open Source National Digital Map DB

South Korea to construct Open Source National Digital Map DB


Korea, 5 September 2006: The Korean administration recently began overhauling its national mapping system. Its largest scale open source mapping system project GIS, will meet international standard that uses digital street map and address.

The Korean address system uses land based numbering system. In other words, it combines land lot number with one’s address. Because of its inferior and outdated system, it is creating traffic congestions and adding extra expenses. These situations led Korean government to focus on upgrading its national map and address system to new one that can meet current global trend.

Within the South Korean Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs it has formed a team that assigns street name and building number and it’s currently updating the database (until Nov. 2006) to open first services by year 2007.

Along with establishing centralized center, first parts of the project include current situation analysis, DB standardization process, then unto final creation of the master DB. In second phase (2007 to 2009), it plans to build upon existing DB by adding DB of new regions to expand the coverage area. The improvements in the second phase include implementation of user feedbacks and request to enlarge and update the DB to aid constructing central station, which should encourage the system to be used even more widely. This phase accomplishes overall improvement by constructing unified main system for the street/road names and addresses, further expansion of the system: which includes DB reunification, then unto edit, update and finally replenishing with new DB.

This year alone, the project will cost $37.4 million with $45.5 mil in 2007, $29 mil in 2008 and another $27 mil in 2009. The project is open source based. Troupe leader Doo-soo Kim said, “When we brought in the unified system in February of 2006, we considered for a system that will not depend on any particular vendor(s) and same time that can fulfill both TCO and DB needs. So we went with the open source based system”

The reason for all these open source software plans can be explained with cutting down expense and promoting of software industry within their countries. Not only Europe, China also brought in Linux system for part of their railroad system, and Brazil also is working on open source promotion projects. UN also formed an ‘open source promotion team’ to adapt the open source use environment. Open source strong India, also is heating up its domestic industry with over 40 percent of 340 companies using Linux based open source servers according to June 2005 market survey. Also in Nov. 2005, one of the largest financial groups Canara bank introduced Linux system to automate its one thousand branches.

South Korean government also funds and supports various plans to its administrations for the open source related expenses thus further promoting its public programs. The unified digital map DB central center will be linking each data centers in providence, county, city levels to link web server, DB server, administrator server and GIS servers using Redhat’s enterprises Linux 4.0 version.

Meantime, GIS engine ‘IntraMap/Web’ by KSIC ( was picked for its open source software. This just shows the administration’s intent to spread open source software and to apply it other public access projects in the future. This kind of project can be an ideal showcase for the open source and foundation to overseas ventures for the domestic firms.

High probabilities in Effectiveness, Applicable, Expandable applications applied. The unified center’s consortium members are comprised of KSIC, Ssangyong information and Communication Corp., Bitline, Geospartial Information Technology Co., Hansung UI Engineering and Waybus.

The consortiums studied and analyzed similar overseas market, laws, and regulations including street naming and address searching, system capacity and effectiveness along with professional advisors to establish and design its architecture and information management, overall system improvement and unified coordinate system and standard DB system.

Especially in this project, in addition to creating unified center, it’s focusing the R &D to deliver best standard system that can be used from city level to county and providences (16 major cities and 234 local cities). The KSIC/CDB-A system does meet the international standards that are built around data, architecture and Asset. Precisely, a system that utilizes asset repository (domain engineering) reusing and registering components that are generated from R & D stages.

The unified system center will provide statistics, security management, Telematics. LBS, Web-GIS that can be utilized to deliver location information and by providing the free information it will raise its global competitiveness its level of effectiveness to fit Ubiquitous era which can further raise the related new technology for location information.

Troupe leader Kim said, “General use of Linux hasn’t been created yet. Consensus of acceptance is still lacking somewhat, and leadership from the governments level and its role is crucial. We chose the Linux because of lower cost in setup and maintenance, free licensing fee and its ability to respond to any security breeches rapidly.”

The unified center with its current dual system server will be further improved to tri servers in 2007 and up to quad servers by year 2008. Administrator server will also double by next year, which will be designed with open source.

Upon the completion of the new address system and digitalized national map system, emergency response to fire and police will be accelerated, can anticipate growth in transportation services and give uplift to various LBS (Location-Based Service), and by providing precise traffic information will relieve the traffic congestions.

According to the actual KRILA (Korea Research Institute for Local Administration) findings in August 2003 of ‘Most ideal Road name map project plans’, domestically overall projected savings in transportation, traffic congestion expense, postal cost and personal labor cost is $80.462 million, after five years, up to $270 million.

In addition, logistic roadmaps for North-East Asian territory could be opened up to further strengthen competitiveness edge, utilization as public resources to enlarge markets in LBS or Telematics, GIS and related logistics industry and electronics commerce and give boost to the economy.

Meanwhile, KIPA’s Open source software support center Director commented about the administration’s ongoing digital map DB project, “Public and Public agencies alike gained much needed confidences in open source SW through this project and gained invaluable trust with using open source software as core source technology.”