updated 12:03 pm EST, Tue January 29, 2013
Used crowdsourced information over multiple years for map
Google has updated its Maps to include detailed road and landscape information for North Korea, something not offered before by the service. Previously showing just the coastline, rivers and the location of Pyongyang, the new additions are the culmination of years of work by residents of the secretive country using Google Map Maker.
People inside the country's borders used the tool by adding roads, location names, and points of interest, according to the Google Maps Blog. It is acknowledged that the data is not perfect as it is user generated, instead of relying on government-provided data or it's own Google Streetview car fleet. Updates submitted to Map Maker and approved will make their way to the full Google Maps product, not just for North Korea, but for other areas of the world.
Company chairman Eric Schmidt recently traveled to North Korea with his daughter, in what was considered a political visit to encourage the country to join the Internet, instead of secluding itself from the rest of the world entirely.