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January 29th, 2015
GfK Releases New Digital Maps of China and India

GfK has updated its digital map editions for China and India to reflect the latest regional status. The maps have been supplemented with numerous regional levels. One of these enhancements includes an increase in the level of detail, particularly along coastlines and in cities. The new map editions thus provide detailed cartographic coverage of India’s and China’s administrative levels, such as municipalities and postcodes. 

“We regularly update our worldwide maps so we can offer an accurate cartographic basis for error-free geographic analyses,” says Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography in GfK’s geomarketing solution area.

An up-to-date and ultra-precise cartographic basis is essential for all spatial analyses, whether carried out in geomarketing software, GIS, BI solutions or other database applications. Up-to-date and detailed geodata on postcode regions comprises the basis for the correct geocoding of all address-based information for companies as well as for risk analyses in the reinsurance industry. 

New additions

There were thousands of changes to the postal and administrative regions of both countries. 


Maps of China’s administrative regions including counties, provinces and prefectures were updated on the basis of official sources and enhanced with greater detail. Seven of China’s approximately 2,880 counties were dissolved, while ten were newly formed; there were also 18 ID changes and 14 name changes.

GfK offers up-to-date and highly detailed six-digit postcode maps for China’s 20 most populated cities. 

Boundary lines for the four-digit postcodes were re-digitized in greater detail. 

All of GfK’s maps include dual-language attributions of all map objects in both Latin characters and the native language characters.


In all the maps of India, GfK re-digitized the coastlines in high resolution to provide an optimal basis for carrying out risk analyses by users in the reinsurance industry.

The administrative maps of India’s states and districts were updated using the latest information from India’s administrative authorities. Two of India’s 660 districts were dissolved, while 23 were newly formed.

GfK’s map of the six-digit postcodes (PIN codes: “Postal Index Number code”) was completely re-digitized. Unlike many countries, India does not have a postal system that precisely defines which streets belong to which postcode.

“In India, the PIN codes refer to post offices that deliver mail to various regions or subsidiary postal offices,” explains Dittmann. “The boundaries for the PINs are therefore an approximation of the actual mail delivery practice. Thanks to their many years of experience in creating maps, our cartographers are able to digitize boundaries for the PIN regions that reflect the greatest possible accuracy.”

There have been significant changes to the six-digit postcodes compared to previous map editions for India. The number of PIN regions has been reduced from 26,867 to 19,030. More than 10,000 PINs were dissolved, while 2,271 were newly formed. 


GfK’s digital maps are available in all standard map formats, including *.shp (ESRI), *.tab (MapInfo), *.lay (RegioGraph) and Oracle Spatial. In addition to maps of the postal and administrative levels, the country map editions also include topographic details such as streets, bodies of water and city points categorized by number of inhabitants. All maps are vector-based and consequently offer infinite zoom and flexible viewing options.

Additional information on GfK’s digital maps can be found at

Print-quality illustrations can be found at

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

Additional information can be found at