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Google releases detailed map of North Korea

Until last Tuesday, North Korea appeared on Google Maps as a near-total white space with no roads, no train lines, no parks and no restaurants. The only thing labeled was the capital city, Pyongyang.

  google-maps-iconSince Tuesday, Google is giving the world a never-before-seen, detailed look at one of the most secretive countries in the world: the North Korea. With the help of its community of citizen cartographers, Google has launched a detailed map for North Korea in Google Maps, offering a rare glimpse inside the streets, landmarks and even the gulags located in the world’s most isolated country. Many landmarks are now labelled, as are the notorious prison labour camps and nuclear research sites.
That program, much like Wikipedia, allowed users to submit their own data, which is then fact-checked by other users, and sometimes altered many times over.

north korea map

We know this map is not perfect. One of the exciting things about maps is that the world is a constantly changing place,” said Google’s senior product manager, Jayanth Mysore, in a statement posted online. “We encourage people from around the world to continue helping us improve the quality of these maps for everyone with Google Map Maker.

Curtis Melvin, a Ph.D. economics student at George Mason University in Virginia who operates the blog North Korean Economy Watch, quickly spotted a mistake in Google’s version. Google’s map shows a golf course on Yanggak Island, on a river that curves through Pyongyang.
But Melvin, citing recent photographs from tourists, said the golf course no longer exists.

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