Google adds crowdsourced map of North Korea following years of work
Google has published a more detailed map of North Korea, filling in one of the gaps in Google Maps, thanks to the contribution of users.
The map is the result of years of work from a community of citizen cartographers who have submitted information such as street names and points of interest in one of the world’s most secretive states through Google Map Maker.
Google said the map will not only benefit those interested in one of the world’s most secretive states, but also to the people of South Korea who have ancestral connections or still have family living there.
Plan your trip to Pyongyang
“The goal of Google Maps is to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate, and easy-to-use modern map of the world,” said Google in a blog post. “As part of this mission, we’re constantly working to add more detailed map data in areas that traditionally have been mostly blank.
“For a long time, one of the largest places with limited map data has been North Korea.
“But today we are changing that with the addition of more detailed maps of North Korea in Google Maps.”
Google acknowledges that the map is far from perfect – don’t expect live transit information for the Pyongyang Metro for example – but that it will continue to improve. It has invited contributors to continue submitting information and that any updates in Google Map Maker will also appear in Google Maps.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently used a controversial visit to the pariah state to urge its leadership to open up more to the Internet. At the moment, North Korea is one of the least connected countries in the world, with the vast majority of the population not owning a computer. Even if North Korean citizens are able to get online, it is understood that they are only capable of accessing an internal North Korean intranet, and not the global Internet.
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