THE PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE of North Korea is slowly being unveiled to outsiders thanks to Google Maps.
Google Maps made an announcement this week, saying that a community of citizen cartographers used Google Map Maker to add road names and points of interest in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, resulting in a much more comprehensive map.
It is encouraging people to continue improving the maps in the country, which is one of 200 regions of the world featured on Google Map Maker.
Access to the internet is extremely limited in North Korea, contributing to the lack of information available on Google Maps.
Jayanth Mysore, Senior Product Manager of Google Map Maker, commented:
While many people around the globe are fascinated with North Korea, these maps are especially important for the citizens of South Korea who have ancestral connections or still have family living there.
A detail from the map. Pic: Google Maps
The map also shows the gulag – ‘re-education’ – camps that are in operation:
Pic: Google Maps
In early January, Google chairman Eric Schmidt journeyed to North Korea for a “private humanitarian mission” which was described as “ill-timed” by the US State Department due to a recent rocket launch.