The characteristics of the digital road map, especially the DRM Database, are as follows:
- The data structure is suitable for depicting networks, and allows computerized searches for the route with the shortest distance, time, etc.
- Data on arterial roads of the prefectural level and higher is updated in advance of road openings and other changes. This data is highly precise, based on large-scale construction planning maps provided by road administrators. Other data is updated all at once when new topographic maps are issued.
- In addition to location information, the maps also include a great deal of other data such as each road administrator, route number, width, and road structures such as bridges and tunnels.
- In addition to establishing and publishing the database standards, the DRM Associaton also assigns unique node and link IDs. These IDs are shared in the public and private sectors and used when exchanging information related to road transport, including construction, accidents, and congestion. The DRM database is an authoritative database serving as a common infrastructure for the exchange of various types of information among public and private sectors.