Google Maps finally adds driving directions for North Korea

Google Maps finally adds driving directions for North Korea

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North Korea: North Korea has strict controls on internal movement, a scarcity of private car owners, and almost no Internet users. Yet it now has satellite navigation for plotting driving and walking routes through Google Maps.

Google began adding roads, subway stations and parks to the North Korea region of its Maps service in January 2013. These additions were made using submissions from worldwide Maps users. Using this data, Google has now added step-by-step driving directions along the roads that have been mapped.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un imposes strict controls on internet use and how many people can buy cars, for example.

Earlier this week, reports claimed the region has just 5,500 websites and emails and texts are closely monitored.

In 2012, Google announced it was going to start adding detailed mapping information in areas ‘that traditionally have been mostly blank’ – including North Korea.

Google has now added step-by-step driving directions along the roads that have been mappedTo build this map, a community of so-called citizen cartographers added road names and points of interest to the Google Map Maker tool, and the detailed site launched on 28 January 2013. Building on this data, Google now plots driving directions across the country – but only on roads that have been mapped.

The directions, which began rolling out in June last year, are available on desktop, as well as the Android and iOS app versions of the service.

Like in other regions, these directions feature step-by-step instructions, traffic details, where possible, mileage and travel time.

But asking for routes to both Seoul and Bejing produces a message saying Google has been unable to calculate directions.

Although Google Maps shows railway and subway lines, it still doesn’t show timetable information as seen in other regions.

Source: Daily Mail