North Korea has always been an isolated part of the planet. The ultra secretive Communist country has drawn worldwide criticism for its troubling foreign policy and human rights issues. Just weeks after Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s trip to The Democratic People’s Republic, Google has updated their Maps service with what the company states is an effort in crowdsourcing from the North Korean people. The maps detail streets, various landmarks, and the infamous prison camps, or gulags.
Google has said that there is no connection between Eric Schmidt’s visit and the release of these maps. The Mountain View company simply felt that their work on the North Korean maps reached a sufficient level of detail for which they were pleased to add it into the public maps. Even still, the maps displayed only serve to highlight the amount of work yet to be done, for many areas are still far from complete, and there are a vast array of blanks that need to be filled in. Google’s work is far from over, but shows plenty of promise.