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Mapping the future

Article - June 30, 2023

With demands in map-making evolving due to the emergence of digital technologies, Zenrin has shifted from being a mapping company to a location information provider.

“We're differentiating ourselves from competitors by providing fresher and more accurate data.”

Zenshi Takayama, President & CEO, Zenrin Co., Ltd.

Map making has come a long way over the centuries and today digital map making coupled with extensive data collection is essential for the operation of new technologies such as autonomous driving, MaaS (mobility as a service), and Digital Twin Computing.

As a leading company in the map-making field, Zenrin possesses excellent capabilities for collecting and managing map information, and has a wealth of know-how related to the production of maps.  Aside from providing map data for residential maps and car navigation systems, the Japanese firm is also engaged in developing high precision map data for autonomous driving, sky maps for drones, and solutions for MaaS.

“Zenrin is not a company simply providing maps. We are providing location information in the form of a database,” says company president Zenshi Takayama.

“What is important is the additional value on top of the base map. That's what Zenrin is providing,” he adds. “When it comes to maps, they have many uses. One of our competitive advantages is that we own enormous databases with additional value for accommodating those uses. Maintaining diverse and detailed information that can flexibly accommodate various uses makes it possible for Zenrin to create opportunities to explore new businesses.”

Pioneering development in digital map making and database design, the Fukuoka-based enterprise has begun constructing an Advanced Geospatial Information Database (AGID). This will offer high precision and an abundance of semantic information as Zenrin looks to support the advancement of the Digital Twin for realizing a better society through various simulations in virtual space.

Mr. Takayama explains: “In the future, we will gather every type of information from the real world in real time, thus quickly meeting the needs of an ever-changing society, and constructing a business foundation that can contribute to enhancing corporate value, realize a sustainable society, and create new businesses.”