Opinion: Sizing Up Google’s New North Korea Map
The search company shows the promise and pitfalls of citizen cartography.
The Internet search company noted that the project was made possible by citizen cartographers, who for years have been adding the names of roads and points of interest through Google's online Map Maker tool.
"As a result," Google said in a blog post this week, "the world can access maps of North Korea that offer much more information and detail than before." (Read "Escaping North Korea" in National Geographic magazine.)
It's certainly a commendable task. North Korea is among the hardest places on Earth from which to obtain information, let alone accurate cartographic data.
The advent of the fax machine, followed by the Web, has lessened this task. Map sources—specifically satellite imagery—as well as experts on obscure or secretive places like