Google Maps Update Brings North Korea Into Focus

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-02-01
 
 
 

North Korea Before

This slide shows the very limited amount of information Google Maps could provide about the notoriously secretive country.

North Korea Before

North Korea After

The new maps provide great information about the areas surrounding the capital city, Pyongyang, as well as transportation networks.

North Korea After

Hwasong Gulag

In the process of mapping the country, Google also identified the location of gulags, the country's labor camps, including this one—which, at 212 square miles in area, is the largest.

Hwasong Gulag

Pyongyang

The map of the capital city now includes the locations of its subway stations, monuments and parks, as well as the names of roads and highways.

Pyongyang

Border Patrol

North Korea's Western border with China now includes the location of towns east of Dandong, which weren't previously available.

Border Patrol

Bukchang Gulag

This 28-square-mile labor camp was established to exploit prisoners with hard and dangerous labor. Within the camp borders, there are at least five coal mines, according to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).

Bukchang Gulag

Hoeryong Gulag

One of the country's most notorious camps was reportedly closed last year after the warden who ran it, and another officer, fled across the border to China (left).

Hoeryong Gulag

Yodok Gulag

Located 68 miles northeast of the capital, Yodok is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence about 10 feet tall, according to a HRNK report.

Yodok Gulag

Pyongyang Pyramid

On satellite mode, Google Maps users can pick out landmarks in the capital city, including the Ryugyong Hotel, a 105-story pyramid-shaped skyscraper that has been under construction for a quarter of a century.

Pyongyang Pyramid

Two Sides

This dramatic satellite photo of North Korea (top) and South Korea (bottom) illustrates the difference between the two halves. South Korea's capital city, Seoul, can be seen left of the center, the brightest area in a country that is lit up at night. To the north is a dark North Korea, with the only real light coming from Pyongyang.

Two Sides

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