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Why Digital Romania?

It�s been a few years since we are the Garmin representation for Romania and we are trying to make GPS known both among the current users of GPS technology (companies of (tele) communications, cartography, geodesy, passionate about mountain or seaside trips, army, cadastre, etc.) and to those to whom GPS is a navigation tool on the roads or a business accessory.
Since then we are asked by almost every client if we have the maps for Romania and the answer comes invariably: “No, we do not!”; the explanation is simple: Garmin cannot afford the effort of buying GIS data licenses for Romania � a country about which some people do not know exactly whether it is or it is not located in Europe.
All the Metroguide Europe CDs have in the Romanian area a big blank. From them, we know that there a few European roads passing through Romania, 2 or 3 big rivers, we can see the boundary lines and the cities as a point (I mean, the big ones, of course).
We don�t want this to happen any more! We want a vector map of the road Romania (motorways, European roads, national and regional roads, etc.) at a scale of 1:100.000! We want that every town, every forest, all the rivers, counties and all level curves to be seen on this map! We want the map to contain at least 40 big cities at a street level! And still, we want this map to be charged on the Garmin GPS, because, honestly, it is difficult to carry a notebook in the car with a GPS connected to in order to find out where we are.
We have tried for a long time to come up with the maps and to obtain the money required for the license that is to be paid at Garmin in order to make everything legally and morally and, in the same time, cheaply. However, the hard work has outrun our darkest expectations and we know that it is a job we cannot do all alone because of two reasons: lack of correct information and lack of time, resources, money, etc. We could just simply buy the data license from the companies in the field, BUT the costs are huge and we cannot have the precision we want� There is no point in creating a product that will cost 2000 $/license that no one will ever buy.
We won�t be able to do this by ourselves and that�s why we are asking for your help! If you are: students/researchers/field people/university professors/companies/etc. already dealing with gathering geographic data, this data can be useful to fulfill/complete/discover an aspect that others don�t know about our country.
There are so many geographic data obtained through public or PHARE funds that, according to the law of information access, should be free and available and some of them really are. We are not interested in secret data/work secrets or information whose copywriter is somebody else. We simply hope to gather, piece by piece, data from all over the world, so that we can bring our own bit, especially in the road field and the final product to be useful and precise.
For our collaborators, the final product � that we hope to fulfill/correct each year from now on � won�t cost anything, for our clients � a little bit, and for the others, it will be (very!) accessible. Moreover, the collaborators list and their layers will be printed on the CD cover or will be included in the license folders, for the well-being of all�
We want to do our little something for our beautiful and yet, so little known, country. Everybody knows about the unique places here, like the Sapanta cemetery/ the monasteries in the North of Moldavia/ the karsts massifs with that inconceivable beauty, but no one can locate them�
If you share our vision and philosophy, we are welcoming you for this project! Comments can be directed to Bogdan Condurateanu, head of this project, through e-mail at romaniadigitala@rqa.ro. We thank you in advance for the effort of communicating something that makes you tick even though that would mean we had done something wrong. We shall make corrections and move on�

Bucharest, December the 8th 2003