Life in Korea & Tips

Naver Maps vs. Daum Maps

*Edit: new post with more information about daum maps here!

Naver Maps 네이버지도 vs. Daum Maps 다음지도

While most of you are already used to Google Maps and use it on a regular basis, sadly Google Maps is not that useful in Korea. You can find addresses, sure, but you won’t really be able to calculate how long it will take you from spot A to spot B by car or by foot, just by public transportation, if there is. I have two favorite services for maps in Korea, the two big giants NAVER and DAUM. They both have search engines, maps, and many other Internet services. While Naver is bigger in size with about 70% of the traffic, I actually prefer Daum when it comes to the maps. Let’s take a look at them.

Daum Maps
Daum Maps
Naver maps
Naver Maps

Naver VS. Daum

They both offer good Maps services, but they are quite different. I have listed down some of the features they offer (that Google Maps is lacking in S.Korea) and how they differ from each other:

  1. They both work much better than Google in telling you how to go from point A to point B.
  2. Naver even offers routes by bike.
  3. On Daum, you can see the bus stops, and if you tap on one, you will see the buses that stop there and even when they are arriving.

    daum_busstop
    Daum offers bus stops information
  4. However on Naver, you can see more details on the subway stops, such as which exits have elevators (this could be extremely useful for people with reduced mobility).

    naver_subwayexits
    Naver maps shows details on the subway exits
  5. If you zoom in enough, you can see the number of the apartments. (As you know, in Korea the address system is different from Europe. Instead of using the road/street name plus the number, in some neighborhoods they just tell you the name of a block complex and the #of the building).
    1. Daum offers a more accurate map of the building blocks. In the previous capture, you can appreciate that Daum captures more green zones and sports courts.

      daum_buildings#example
      Daum Maps building zoom in
    2. You may notice that Naver tells you even the size of the apartments inside the buildings. To me, this is too much information. I find it useful only if you’re looking for a house to move in, but you can always get this information from the realtor anyway.

      naver_buildings#example
      Naver building zoom in shows the size of the apartments

~There might be more differences, but these are the main ones I have found.~

On the other hand, the only disadvantage of these two map services that I have found is that you MUST type the address in Korean. For temporal visitors, this might not be feasible. However, if you are staying in Korea for a while, you probably have mastered Hangul by now and can type Korean perfectly although you don’t understand it well.


How to use Daum and Naver maps on Web browser.

  1. Go to http://map.daum.net or http://map.naver.net
  2. On the search bar, type the address or keywords (in Korean). The map will show you one or several pins for that query.
  3. If you press on one of the pins, you will see the following information: name of the place, address, rating, make it favorite, export, print, zoom, edit information, and these 2 words: 출발 (chulbal, departure) and 도착 (dochag, arrival) 
  4. If you want to know how to get to a place from, let’s say, the closest subway station, you could just click on 도착 (arrival) on the selected pin, and then with the right click of the mouse, click on the place you want to start from, then select 출발. Finally, you can select whether you want to see the route by car, public transportation, bike, or foot. (Note bike only on Naver maps).
  5. Also when you right click on any place of the map, this menu will show up
    1. For Naver: 출발 (chulbal, departure), 경유 (gyeong-yu, via) 도착 (dochag, arrival). The magnifiers are for zooming in or out. 이 위치의 주소는? will show you the address of the pinpointed place. 즐겨찾기 추가 means to “add to favorites”, 내 업체 등록 is “add/register my company” and finally 지도 수정요청 is to “request a modification on the map” (you will need a Naver account for these options).

      Naver_rightclick
      Naver right click menu
    2. For Daum: Similarly, Daum offers these options on the right click: 여기 주소 보기 (show address), 신규 장소 등록 (register a new place), 여기 정보 수정 (modify information). Then 출발지 지정 (set departure point), 경유지 지정 (set via) 도착지 지정 (set arrival point). Finally 즐겨찾기 추가 (add to favorites), 확대 (magnify) and 축소 (zoom out).

      daum_rightclick
      Daum right click menu

How to use Daum maps app.

  1. Open the app. On the bottom, you should see 2 buttons: a magnifier with the word 검색 (search), and an arrow with 길찾기 (get directions). On the left upper side there is a button that will show you your current locations (if GPS is on and you accepted the condition of daum map using your gps). On the upper right, you can use the Street view, change the map style (for example to satellite view), or use full screen.
  2. When you click on the “search” option, you can type your keywords on the bar. If you click on the “Get directions” option, you will be asked to input both departure and arrival. You can use your current location (you must have GPS on and accept the condition of daum map using your gps), select from your favorites (needs an account), or choose on map.
  3. If you tap on a bus stop or subway station no the map, you will see information on public transportation. However, my advice is not to rely too much on the schedules of the buses shown on the map. Although they come from the original source of bus schedules, I prefer to rely directly on the bus and subway apps that I will be covering next week.
  4. Et voilà! It’s easy once you know what the words mean ^^
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13 thoughts on “Naver Maps vs. Daum Maps

  1. Woooow! Great! That would be amazing if you have time to explain how to register places and organize them (like My maps in Google).

    Like

    1. Hi Anonymous~
      Thanks for your comment. I somehow didn’t see it until now! And you gave me a good idea, I’m making a tutorial for daum maps. I’ll upload it soon! It’s a lot of work to do since it is such a complete map app 😉 Probably done by next week, I’ll keep you posted!

      Like

  2. Which of the two maps can be installed onto a Garmin outdoor GPS device? Or on a Windows PC into Garmin’s Basecamp or Mapsource mapping software?
    Which of both may be loaded as background map into the JOSM editor of Openstreetmap.org (OSM)?

    Like

    1. Hi Wolfgang,

      Unfortunately i have no idea of how to answer as I never used a GPS device and dont drive. I will try finding an answer with some Korean colleague that drives and if I figure it out, Ill let you know~

      Thanks for your comment~

      Like

      1. Hi Mimiyu,
        thank you for your support. But please don’t ask drivers. GPS navigation for car drivers is different from GPS navigation for outdoor sports. Please ask bikers or hikers. My outdoor GPS device is a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx which is quite common in the outdoor community..

        Have a nice day
        Wolfgang

        Like

  3. Thanks for this. I’ve had daum map app for a few months now but don’t have much Korean and so never appreciated quite how much can be done with it. Your info really helps! One other thing I personally find very useful when trying to locate a business, eg restaurant, is being able to just type in the phone number as a search ‘keyword’. This lets me locate & navigate without having to read any Korean. It’s a fantastic app.

    Like

    1. Susan, this is not my point. I appreciate daum.map or naver.map and yes, I am able to read Hangeul. Therefor I do not ask for Google maps. But I use an outdoor navigation device from Garmin. Into this device you can load maps from Garmin or from Openstreetmap.org. As Korean maps from Naver or Daum are superior to Korean maps from Garmin or Google, I wanted to know if somebody has experience with download of Naver or Daum maps into Garmin devices? Naver and Daum maps can be loaded into smartphones. But smartphones are not good for use in dirty outdoor territory or when climbing on the mountains. Therefor I prefer robust outdoor navis from Garmin.

      Like

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