Bruchsal, 21.03.2018

GfK releases new digital maps for Asia

GfK Asia Edition 2017/2018 with 49 countries and around 750 maps

GfK has released a new, completely overhauled digital map edition for all of Asia. The edition features coverage of 49 countries, ranging from the three BRICS nations Russia, India and China to smaller countries such as Bhutan. In addition to more granular coastlines, the digital maps depict the latest status of administrative and postal regions. Detailed, up-to-date digital maps are a prerequisite for accurate location-based market analyses.

GfK’s new Asia Edition 2017/2018 includes approximately 750 digital maps. These reflect the latest regional status and feature numerous new levels as well as a higher level of detail. GfK’s digital maps of postcodes and administrative regions such as provinces and municipalities comprise the basis for precise spatial analyses. These maps make it possible to geocode, link and analyze company and market data as well as other location data such as risk-related information used in the reinsurance industry.

“Any analyses involving a geographic component require detailed, error-free and up-to-date administrative and postcode boundaries,” says Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography at GfK’s Geomarketing solution area. “An outdated or incorrect cartographic basis leads to erroneous analyses. Creating maps that meet our requirements for detail and accuracy is particularly challenging in Asia due to lacking or incomplete data sources. But for our new Asia Edition, we were able to obtain improved base data from official sources in many countries and digitize additional regional levels thanks to this new information as well as extensive research and manual crosschecks.”

GfK's cartographers ensure the accuracy of boundaries and map objects by consulting satellite imagery, among other methods. For risk and business analyses, it is crucial that all boundaries offer comprehensive coverage, without any gaps or overlaps. All of GfK’s maps are vector-based and consequently offer infinite zoom and flexible viewing options. Another feature of GfK’s maps is their inclusion of place names in both the national and international nomenclature. This allows internationally active companies to easily communicate their market analyses and strategic plans across language barriers. In addition to postal and administrative regions, the map editions also include map layers featuring cities (by population bracket), transportation infrastructure (streets, airports, railways), rivers and bodies of water.

New additions

GfK’s Asia Edition 2017/2018 reflects the thousands of changes that have occurred since the last edition. The following section shows examples of major changes due to reforms, as well as the most important new or completely overhauled maps:


  • Administrative: There have been adjustments to all administrative levels. The new map edition includes the latest boundaries for China’s 33 provinces, 343 prefectures and 2,879 counties.
  • Postal: Six-digit postcodes are available for China’s 50 largest metropolitan regions. This corresponds to 6,215 six-digit postcodes in the new map edition. The edition also includes comprehensive coverage of the country’s two-, three- and four-digit postcodes.
  • Topographic: The newly digitized maps feature substantially more detail in cities and along coastlines. Boundaries match the street/house level in cities for which six-digit postcode boundaries are available.


  • Administrative: For the first time, the India edition includes a map of the country’s subdistricts, which encompass 6,027 regions. In terms of the nation’s superordinate districts, 42 have been dissolved, 87 newly created and 51 newly named. All 707 regions received new IDs. At the federal state and union territory level, one state was divided, making 36 regions in total.
  • Postal: There have been only minor changes at the level of India’s more than 19,000 six-digit postcodes (PIN Codes). Exceptions are the states of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, which have been completely overhauled.
  • Topographic: Most changes in this category affect the various city map layers. In terms of India’s cities with more than 5 million inhabitants, six new ones have been added since 2014. As a result, there are now eight cities in this population bracket. Among cities with between one and five million inhabitants, eight have been added, making 38 in total. There have also been many changes to the smaller cities, reflecting India’s dynamic structural development with its more than 1.3 billion inhabitants.


  • Administrative: There have been nine boundary changes at the level of Indonesia’s 34 provinces. Among the country’s 514 districts, ten have been newly created and seven underwent name changes. There have also been 70 boundary changes.
  • Postal: Twelve boundary changes occurred at the level of the 83 two-digit postcodes. At the five-digit postcode level, boundaries for the islands of Sumatra and Papua New Guinea have been completely overhauled. Sixteen new postcodes have been added, bringing the total to 8,559.


  • Administrative: The maps of Japan’s 47 prefectures and 1,896 municipalities have been updated. The new layer “Japan statistical areas” subdivides the country into almost 225,000 regions.
  • Postal: For the first time, the edition includes a map of Japan’s seven-digit postcodes. These approximately 116,000 postcodes offer a more detailed supplement to the 100 two-digit postcodes.
  • Topographic: Around 20 percent of the coastline has been newly digitized in significantly greater detail. This is an important feature for estimating natural disaster-related risks in the reinsurance industry.
  • All boundaries have been newly created on the basis of updated vector data from official sources.


  • Administrative: There have been several changes at the level of Malaysia’s administrative regions: Four of the 16 states underwent boundary corrections, while 20 districts were dissolved, and four newly created. Taking into account the more than 60 name changes and 20 boundary corrections, Malaysia now has a total of 128 districts.
  • Postal: Twenty of Malaysia’s 86 two-digit postcodes have changed. Among the five-digit postcodes, there have been more than 250 changes (3 dissolved, 16 newly created, 19 name changes and 230 boundary corrections). This brings the total to 847 regions.


  • Administrative: A completely new layer featuring the country’s 1,647 municipalities is now available as a supplement to the existing administrative maps. At the region level, one new unit has been added (making a total of 18). Two provinces have been dissolved and eight newly created, bringing the total to 87.
  • Postal: One change has occurred at the level of the two-digit postcodes, resulting in a total of 82 regions. At the four-digit postcode level, 11 were dissolved, 102 newly created, while 370 underwent name changes, bringing the total to 1,882 regions.
  • All boundaries have been newly created on the basis of updated vector data from official sources.


  • Administrative: Russia’s administrative levels have been updated on the basis of new data from official sources. Five of the country’s 2,478 districts were dissolved, while five were newly created. There have also been additional boundary changes. Six of Russia’s city districts were dissolved, one ID was renamed and many boundaries were corrected.
  • Postal: Six-digit postcode coverage of the nation’s large cities was expanded by ten additional cities, bringing the total to 49 cities comprising 4,470 six-digit postcodes.


  • Administrative: There have been boundary changes to all administrative levels. A new ID structure was implemented to Singapore’s 323 subzones. Two regions were dissolved, while 14 were newly created.
  • Postal: Several boundary changes occurred at the level of the country’s 81 two-digit postcodes.

South Korea

  • Administrative: The new neighborhoods layer features coverage of 5,039 regions, adding substantially more detail to supplement the maps of the 250 districts and 17 provinces.
  • Postal: Postcode maps are available for the first time for South Korea. The map of the two-digit postcodes includes 59 regions, while the five-digit postcode map features 34,356 regions.
  • All boundaries have been newly created on the basis of updated vector data from official sources.


  • Administrative: A new map of Taiwan’s 7,851 townships offers an unprecedented level of detail. At the level of the country’s 22 counties, there has been one name change and various boundary changes, which is the also the case for Taiwan’s 368 districts.
  • Postal: The maps of the one-, two-, and three-digit postcodes have undergone numerous changes. The most detailed level – the three-digit postcodes – now features 365 regions.
  • All boundaries have been newly created on the basis of updated vector data from official sources.


  • Administrative: At the province level, there have been numerous boundary and coastal corrections as well as a new region, bringing the total to 77. In terms of Thailand’s 927 districts, there have been nine name and boundary changes.
  • Postal: Coverage is provided for 76 two-digit postcodes and 962 five-digit postcodes. This level also features coastline changes as well as four new regions.


GfK's maps for Asia are available in both stand-alone country editions and as a comprehensive continent edition in all standard map formats, including *.shp (ESRI), *.tab (MapInfo), *.lay (RegioGraph) and Oracle Spatial.

GfK is the official supplier of the CRESTA zones, which provide a uniform international standard for the aggregation and exchange of risk-related information in the reinsurance industry. GfK also offers the world's largest collection of administrative and postcode maps.

Additional information on GfK’s worldwide digital maps can be found here.

Print-quality illustrations can be found here.

About GfK

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