North Korea Is No Longer A Big White Space On Google Maps

Until Tuesday the Google Maps of North Korea were mostly blank — only the capital of Pyongyang was labelled. But with the help of “citizen cartographers,” Google has released a detailed map revealing roads, train lines, parks, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and even several city-sized labour camps.

Beginning in 2009 the volunteers — collaborating on Google Map Maker from outside of the Internet-starved country — compiled points of interest that were already public on existing analogue maps or on the Web.

Al Jazeera has a good rundown of why this is a big deal in regards to the Hermit Kingdom, and The Washington Post’s interactive before/after provides an idea of how big of a difference the new maps make.

Here’s the entire country:

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

Pyongyang:

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

The Korean Demilitarized Zone: 

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

The China/North Korea border:

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

The 87-square-mile gulag known as Prison Camp No. 22:

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

north korea

Photo: Google Maps

Check out some of the other places maps like these have uncovered:

Satellite Images Show Gulags Are Still Operational In North Korea

Bing Maps Show The CIA’s Secret Bin Laden Training Facility In North Carolina

‘Secret’ Australian Military Bases Revealed By Google Maps

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