INTERNET GIANT Google has updated its Maps service to show a much better picture of North Korea.
The firm recently sent its chairman north of the border, and since his safe return it has busied itself improving its picture of the area. Google Maps now shows some of North Korea's most remote locations, and Google is happy to be able to show them. You can see the difference in the before and after pictures here.
"The goal of Google Maps is to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate, and easy-to-use modern map of the world. As part of this mission, we're constantly working to add more detailed map data in areas that traditionally have been mostly blank," said Jayanth Mysore, senior product manager at Google Map Maker.
"For a long time, one of the largest places with limited map data has been North Korea. But today we are changing that with the addition of more detailed maps of North Korea in Google Maps."
The new maps have been created with the help of locals, so not, as we first imagined, Eric Schmidt with some sort of GPS and 3D mapping tracker underneath a large cowboy hat.
"Creating maps is a crucial first step towards helping people access more information about parts of the world that are unfamiliar to them. 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," added Mysore.
"We thank all the Map Maker contributors who continue to create helpful maps for people around the world."
Schmidt implored North Korea to soften its stance when he left the country. Speaking to reporters at Beijing airport he said that its choice to limit internet access is going to bite it back.
"As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world, their economic growth and so forth, and it will make it harder for them to catch up economically. We made that alternative very clear," he said, according to a report at the Guardian.
"Once the internet starts, citizens in a country can certainly build on top of it, but the government has to do something. They have to make it possible for people to use the internet, which the government in North Korea has not yet done. It's their choice now, and in my view it's time now for them to start or they will remain behind." µ