US: Google has published mapping information on North Korea, a country that has so far been mostly blank on the popular website Google Maps.
The data was compiled on Google”s Map Maker tool which allows ordinary people to contribute information mainly using satellite images or local knowledge.
Users can now zoom in and see many landmarks labelled, including the notorious prison labour camps.
Map data is not widely available for the reclusive nation.
Launched in 2008, Map Maker data has been migrated to Google Maps for many countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This effort has been active in Map Maker for a few years and today the new map of North Korea is ready and now available on Google Maps,” said Jayanth Mysore, senior product manager at Google Map Maker.
“As a result, the world can access maps of North Korea that offer much more information and detail than before.”
The move comes after a private humanitarian visit to North Korea by Google”s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
In the case of North Korea, satellite images, not local knowledge, were the main source of data. Most North Koreans cannot access the internet.
Google said a large number of South Koreans contributed information to create usable maps for the North.
“While many people around the globe are fascinated with North Korea, these maps are especially important for the citizens of South Korea who have ancestral connections or still have family living there,” said Mysore.