ABOUT THIS PROJECT
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF RCMAPS PROJECT
BACKGROUND TO LAOS, VIETNAM, CAMBODIA AND THAILAND MAPS
Around the end of 2007, I was planning a trip to Laos and Vietnam but found little or no free Garmin compatible GPS maps available at all, hence I proceeded to undertake a project to create my own maps from publicly available data sources. I have most likely spent hundreds of hours firstly extracting the data and then fine tuning and cleaning up the road data to get it to a stage where it could compile correctly.
The roads on these maps are not very detailed and only available at highway level only. However, they are auto routing and will aid in estimating distances between main centres for trip planning. No detailed roads available at city/town level.
UPDATE APR 2010
Actually, since 2007, there are lots of detailed highways and street level details at major cities in Vietnam and Laos available in V2009 R5 and V2009 R6 maps.
Also includes major connecting highways into NORTH EAST THAILAND (Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Udon Ratchathani) AND SOUTH EAST CAMBODIA (Phnom Penh, Kampot etc)
I returned from the trip in February 2008 with thousands of kms of 1 sec tracklogs for these areas on my Garmin 60 CSX. Since then I have spent another few hundred hours slowly updating and improving these maps and will endeavour to continue to do so if users send in tracklogs and new POIs and road corrections and fixes.
At the moment, please email your feed back and tracklogs (please zip your gpx or gdb files, if it's still too large, you may have to split it using winrar into manageable chunks) :-
Watch out for another release in 2008 as I add more updated tracks around Northern to Central Vietnam coastal highway and possibly detailed Ho Chi Minh city maps.
GO TO FREE LAOS, VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA GARMIN COMPATIBLE GPS MAPS PAGE
BACKGROUND TO OTHER MAPS - NEW ZEALAND, SAMOA, NIUE, DISNEYLAND ETC
Following the success of these free maps and the amazing support from Garmin users worldwide, I have proceeded to produce other maps for free for the community. You can read about the background and purposes of those free maps at different parts of this site.
Why are you giving away free maps?
There is really no catch to this. All maps listed here are free to download and use if it's for non commercial purposes.
It generally takes hundreds of hours and requires some expertise and background knowledge to create a successful auto routing map.
Thanks to the support of cGPSmapper's author in making available his compiler, I feel that the effort I put into creating some of the maps for my own use should also be available and shared with others
Over time, I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet countless GPS enthusiasts all over the globe from New Zealand to Laos and Japan and trained them in mapping and creating more free community driven maps
Maps are constantly changing and the only way to keep up to date with these changes is to have map users (GPS users) out and about reporting back to the project and mappers the changes. The old business model of annual update of maps is too slow and unresponsive for today's fast changing world. To encourage map feedback and in reporting traffic and street changes, I believe that maps should be provided free or at very low cost to users. However, some things like internet and some mapping software will cost money, hence if the articles and maps here had been useful to you in getting you out of a jam or made your travels a little smoother, please consider a small donation to this project.
For a period of one and a half years, the previous website at googlepages (www.rcmaps.googlepages.com) has clocked over 180,000 page hits from users all over the globe and received some generous donations from happy users.
In early March 2010, Google finally closed down my googlepages site and moved it to googlesites. I have therefore taken the opportunity to move and recreate a completely new website here
Thanks for your support everyone :-)
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