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Google puts North Korea on the map

Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:54 AM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Google unveiled a detailed map of North Korea Tuesday, just weeks after Chairman Eric Schmidt visited the secretive country.

The map, created by a group of volunteer "citizen cartographers" using an interface known as Google Map Maker, allowed users to submit data which others could then fact check, The Washington Post reported.

The new map labels everything from Pyongyang's subway stops to the country's several city-sized gulags as well as its monuments, hotels, hospitals and department stores.

Previously, North Korea was a near-total white space on Google Maps with only the capital city of Pyongyang labeled.

Work on the map began in 2009 using information that was already public, much of it available on the Internet, said volunteer mapmaker Hwang Min-woo, 28, of Seoul.

The map is unlikely to have an immediate influence in North Korea because Internet use is restricted to all but a handful of elites.

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