Google Maps has added notorious, secretive North Korean prison camps to its maps of the country. The data is gleaned from user contributions, including a first-person account of Shin Dong-Hyuk, who escaped from Camp 14, a death camp where he was born and raised.
Called Map Maker, Google’s information for the country’s layout comes primarily from visitors and from former citizens who defected, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The mapping idea stemmed in part from a 28-year-old South Korean who tried to use Google maps on a trip to Laos four years ago, but found it unhelpful, at best. He ultimately helped devise the Google map application for North Korea.
“I thought if I could fill in information on North Korea, it might be useful in an emergency or tragedy if Google can provide a map for aid agencies,” the South Korean told the Wall Street Journal.
Google maps North Korea, including prison camps [Cheryl K. Chumley/Washington Times]
Google’s Earth Outreach just published a series of nifty decades-long views of how world landmarks of changed, like this one of the Aral Sea from 1984 to present. Some of them are like watching slime molds grow:
A virtual reality version of Google Earth is now available on Steam for the HTC Vive. Viewers can walk around, or fly, or browse any number of recorded locations.
In the wake of the Trump election — a triumph of fake news — both Google and Facebook have announced that they will take countermeasures to exclude “fake news” from their services, downranking them in the case of Facebook and cutting them off from ad payments in Google’s case.
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