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Maps!

A guide to Korea’s online maps and links to maps with certification centers, bike paths, and more.

Maps! You’re going to need one if you plan to go on exploring Korea by Bike.

First, we’ll give a breakdown of the most useful web maps in Korea. (Kakao vs. Naver vs. Google.) Then we’ll give you some tips and best practices.

Finally, find a handful of maps listing Korea’s Certification Centers (red stamp booths) and bike paths.

Southward ho!

Korean Web Map Services

What’s the world’s default web mapping service? Google Maps. From Sicily to Buenos Aires, their satellites and street view cameras have scanned almost every road, avenue, and boulevard in the world.

Almost? Which countries haven’t been photographed by Google? Iran? North Korea?

South Korea. The Spatial Data Industry Promotion Act, first enacted after the Korean War, bars the export of mapping information. This stops Google from collecting and storing map data on overseas servers.

Why?

A picture of a military outpost on Korea's east coast.
Small outposts line the Korea's east coast, reminding you of Korea's past and present.

First, war! South Korea’s battle with their northern neighbor never stopped. So the government would rather not disclose its sensitive sites — military, nuclear, industrial — to a foreign corporation.

And South Korea likes to protect its domestic brands. They place tariffs on international conglomerates and give local conglomerates greater access to government resources.

That means, if you want the most up-to-date, accurate mapping data, use one or both of South Korea’s domestic web maps.

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Korean Bicycle Maps

Official Certification System Map

Certification Centers on Google Maps

Certification Centers on Kakao Maps