North Korea Inside Access via Google Maps

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By Gilda Galang | January 30, 2013 5:31 PM EST

After eight years of having one white blank mass almost the size of England, Google Maps finally revealed details of gulags, monuments, hospitals, and other facilities inside North Korea.

Google revealed the detailed map this week, making North Korea the last country to be mapped, reports The New Yorker.

Now, Google reveals details of Pyongyang, the country's capital, plus its many hospitals, schools, and re-education camps, which, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, are sprawled all over the area.

Google Maps has also identified the largest gulag-or a labored work camp-Camp 22, which is located near the northeast border by China. The details include the armory, a food factory, and even the guards' restroom.

But, according to Fox News, all these cartographic information did not come from the North Korean government, but from crowd sourcing initiatives, with people contributing the names of different streets and landmarks to the Google development program Map Maker.

"This data has been in Map Maker for a while now, but it commonly takes the Map Maker community a few years to generate enough high quality data to make something that works in Google Maps," said a Google spokesman to Fox News.

Of course this is a given, considering how only authorized North Koreans are able to access the internal North Korean intranet, and not the global Internet, according to TechWeek Europe.

Google Map Maker has been used to map out other countries like Afghanistan and Burma, reports The Washington Post.

Regarding future uses and updates on North Korea as well as other territories, Google said in a statement to The Washington Post, "We encourage people from around the world to continue helping us improve the quality of these maps for everyone."

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