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Japan Maps



JapanMapTranslate is a preprocessing tool for OpenStreetmap maps of Japan. It adds placenames (OSM tag name:en) for all roads or buildings that have Japanese names (OSM tag name). These are transliterations and partial translations of the original names, i.e. the Japanese name is written in Latin characters (or "romaji" as the Japanese would say). By selecting English as language for the map description in OsmAnd, this enables average Europeans to read the OpenStreetMaps of Japan.


All maps are based on OpenStreetMap data published on March 7th, 2019.
OpenStreetMap data is distributed under the Open Data Commons Open Database license. For details see OpenStreetMap Copyright.


If the map description language is set to English (en), the transliterated and partially translated place names are shown.
If the map description language is set to German (de) instead, the name is shown both in Japanese script and in Latin characters.

Source code

JapanMapTranslate's source code is now hosted on GitHub.

Step-by step guide

The following step-by-step guide shows how to use the maps, and how to create your own:

Step 0 (Requirements)

Download current OpenStreetMap data from Geofabrik: Download

Also, install a current Java runtime environment, if you haven't already: Download

Step 1 (Osmosis)

Convert the data to XML format, extracting a suitable area. (Unfortunately, OsmAnd cannot process a map that contains all of Japan.) Osmosis can be used for this task: Download

Some examples:

..\OSMTools\osmosis-latest\bin\osmosis --read-pbf file=japan-latest.osm.pbf --bounding-box top=37.26 left=137.62 bottom=34.47 right=141.78 --write-xml file=japan-tokyo.osm
..\OSMTools\osmosis-latest\bin\osmosis --read-pbf file=japan-latest.osm.pbf --bounding-box top=37.61 left=135.02 bottom=33.41 right=137.62 --write-xml file=japan-osaka.osm
..\OSMTools\osmosis-latest\bin\osmosis --read-pbf file=japan-latest.osm.pbf --bounding-box top=35.82 left=130.808 bottom=33.81 right=135.02 --write-xml file=japan-hiroshima.osm
..\OSMTools\osmosis-latest\bin\osmosis --read-pbf file=japan-latest.osm.pbf --bounding-box top=33.966 left=129.34 bottom=30.94 right=132.122 --write-xml file=japan-kyushu.osm
..\OSMTools\osmosis-latest\bin\osmosis --read-pbf file=japan-latest.osm.pbf --bounding-box top=45.668 left=137.62 bottom=37.26 right=145.78 --write-xml file=japan-sendai.osm
..\OSMTools\osmosis-latest\bin\osmosis --read-pbf file=japan-latest.osm.pbf --bounding-box top=45.668 left=139.17 bottom=41.36 right=145.88 --write-xml file=japan-hokkaido.osm

Step 2 (JapanMapTranslate)

Annotate English names using JapanMapTranslate, example: ..\OSMTools\JMTranslate\JapanMapTranslate japan-tokyo.osm The result is an file named japan-tokyo.osm.tr.osm which contains Japanese and English place names.

Step 3 (OsmAndMapCreator)

Convert the data to the OsmAnd format. Use OsmAndMapCreator for this purpose. Download

Start the program using OsmAndMapCreator.bat.

Use File → Select Working directory... → select a drive with enough free space, then File → Create OBF from OSM file...
Select japan-xxx.osm.tr.osm.
Press OK & wait.

Step 4 (Using the Map)

First, uninstall any standard OsmAnd maps of the region, because they will conflict with your custom map.

Copy the map file to the Android device. If you have downloaded the map file from this site, be sure to unzip it first.

For example, use a network-capable file manager, such as ES File Explorer.

Put the map into the osmand data folder (you can check which it is under Settings → General → Misc → Data folder )

It is possible that the map needs to be renamed once within OsmAnd's Map manager before it is actually recognized by OsmAnd. That seems to happen especially if you were already viewing the map's region while installing it. (Map management → Local → Select your file → Rename)

Afterwards, don't forget that you have to change the description language (Configure map → Description language) to English or German (depending on your preferences) to see the translated place names.

Also, as the base world map has not been created using JapanMapTranslate, you will need to zoom in a bit so that your local map is actually used.

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