Last week I changed all maps of countries which do not use Latin as main script to Unicode. Before this was not the case for the Europe, Asia and Africa continent map. On the other hand all unicode maps - are now also available the respective main script of the country. This even seems to work quite well for countries like China which has no alphabet at all. All modern devices - should be quite fine displaying them. Mapsource sometimes shows garbled text however - as will very very old GPS devices - which unluckily also don't support unicode. So I'm sorry - but Garmin devices that are pre ~2006 will only work with maps from countries with Latin script now (e.g. Vista C, or GPS Maps 60C, I'm not certain about Vista Cx or GPS Maps 60Cx - I think they support unicode maps). I don't think there are many people using them still anyhow.
I will still put more effort in reworking the naming depending on language in the next couple of weeks. All non Unicode maps are available to download via the Non Unicode tab on the respective download pages. Only a couple of countries (Sri-Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia) have no proper non unicode script support - and will be therefore either Unicode or a latin - which is not too useful.
You will need to download the Non Unicode Version if you have one of the following devices:
- Edge 1000
- GPS Maps 64 series
- Etrex 20x / 30x (not "etrex 30")
- Etrex Touch series
- Some recent Nuvi devices - as well as some super old devices that do not support Unicode. (E.g. Garmin Vista C, GPS Maps 60 C)
If you have other modern or semi-modern devices like any Oregon, any Dakota, etrex Vista/Legend HCx or etrex 20, etrex 30, or GPS Maps 62, any edge but edge 1000, then of course you do not need non unicode maps. Stick to the normal Unicode (or for latin countries - latin maps).
This is due to a firmware bug that Garmin introduced as part of their efforts to cut down on people "pirating" their maps. However by doing that they also cut down on Unicode maps produced by mkgmap or even some of their old (legitimate) maps which are not running anymore on these devices. You will know that you need to use the Non Unicode map if on boot your GPS device tells you to "unlock maps". Why is the Europe Map in Unicode? Well for example in Greece and some Eastern Europe countries the script is Cyrillic not latin - and only Unicode maps can contain both scripts in one map. So the non unicode map will not correctly show labels in such countries. Use the country non unicode map instead. They are always in the predominant script of the country.
Note1: if you install the non Unicode version of a map - you will overwrite the Unicode map. You can only have either or installed.
Note2: The contourlines are identical for openmtbmap/velomap and unicode or non unicode. You only need to download them once. On updates it's enough to re-download and reinstall the map installer.
Besides I've added again quite a few new countries - especially in Asia - so that you do not need to get the continent map for these countries anymore.